Soldiers march to position during an anti-invasion drill on the beach during the annual Han Kuang military drill in Tainan, Taiwan, September 14, 2021.
Soldiers march to position during an anti-invasion drill on the beach during the annual Han Kuang military drill in Tainan, Taiwan, September 14, 2021. Reuters / ANN WANG


  • Rep. Mike Gallagher wants Taiwan to be on the front line of U.S. arms sales
  • The U.S. needed to produce more munitions to deter China and support Taiwan
  • Taiwan reported more Chinese incursions, including 38 warplanes and six naval ships

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are set to propose accelerating U.S. munitions production and arms transfers to the self-ruled island of Taiwan.

Defense News reported that the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party plans to insert provisions supporting Taiwan in this year's National Defense Authorization Act.

"We're hoping to get consensus on a series of proposals that the committee can endorse that would be tailor-made for insertion into this year's [NDAA]," Wisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher, the House committee chairperson, said.

Gallagher said the proposals would be drawn from the lessons learned during a tabletop wargame simulating a conflict between China and Taiwan.

The Republican lawmaker proposed moving Taiwan to the front of the line for certain arms sales, despite the current issue involving the island's $19 billion arms sale backlog.

Gallagher also argued that the U.S. should start bolstering its arms industry investments to produce more munitions in support of Taiwan.

"We need about 1,000 to 12,000 [long-range anti-ship missiles] if you believe the unclassified wargames," Gallagher said.

"Our inventory is less than 250, and we're just not producing them at a rapid rate. I believe we can get up to above 200 a year," Gallagher added.

Gallagher identified Naval Strike Missiles, Joint Strike Missiles, Joint Direct Attack Munitions and SM-6 missiles as priorities in producing munitions.

The House China committee chairperson also aims to enhance the cybersecurity partnership between the U.S. and Taiwan as he introduces the Taiwan Cybersecurity Resilience Act. The proposed bill would compel Pentagon to work with their Taiwanese counterparts to improve cooperation on military cyber operations.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed the $858 billion defense budget for fiscal year 2023 into law.

NDAA 2023 included $10 billion in security assistance and fast-tracked weapons procurement for Taiwan.

According to the law, Taiwan will receive up to $2 billion annually through 2027 if the Secretary of State confirms that Taiwan has increased its defense spending.

The defense budget law also included a new foreign military loan guarantee authority and the creation of a training program to improve the island's military capabilities.

Last month, the U.S. approved the potential sale of $619 million in new military hardware to Taiwan, which includes missiles for its F-16 fleet, 200 anti-aircraft Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and 100 AGM-88B HARM missiles.

As the U.S. looks to equip Taiwan's military further, China continues its intimidation campaign against the island.

The Taiwanese Defense Ministry has tracked 38 Chinese fighter jets and six naval vessels around the island in the last 24 hours, The Hill reported.

Taiwan's defense ministry said 19 Chinese warplanes flew across the midline in the Taiwan Strait that separates the island from mainland China. The latest Chinese air incursions included five SU-30 and two J-16 aircraft.

Taiwanese authorities also noted that TB-001, a Chinese drone, encircled the island.

This was the largest Chinese incursion around Taiwan since China conducted a huge military exercise earlier this month.

Taiwan's armed forces hold two days of routine drills to show combat readiness ahead of Lunar New Year holidays at a military base in Kaohsiung