White House: Delivering Munitions to Taiwan ‘Could Take Some Time’


On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby stated that “It could take some time” for the munitions in the recently-approved potential arms sale to Taiwan to reach the island.

Host Wolf Blitzer asked, “[A]s you know, the U.S. just approved a potential arms sale to Taiwan, including missiles for F-16 fighter jets. What’s the timeline for delivery with a massive backlog and weapons deliveries and worries over China’s ambitions for the island?”

Kirby answered, “Well, remember this is arms sales, Wolf. It’s not drawing down from our stocks the way we provide Ukraine, so it’s a whole separate, different process here. It could take some time for all of those munitions to get to Taiwan. We have to work through this sales process as appropriate. But we are committed to making sure that Taiwan has sufficient self-defense capabilities. Now, look, while we have to do that and we want to do that, that’s part of our support under the Taiwan Relations Act, there’s no reason for tensions over the strait there to devolve into conflict. Nothing’s changed about our One China Policy. We don’t actively support — we don’t support Taiwan[‘s] independence. We don’t want to see this come to blows and there’s no reason for that. But we do and we will stay committed to making sure that Taiwan has the sufficient self-[defense] capabilities that they need.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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