Chinese naval and air force exercises in August showed that China would probably blockade Taiwan before attempting an invasion, and the democratically governed island would have to hold its own until the U.S. or other nations intervened, if they decided to.
The State of the 2022 Midterm Elections
With the primaries over, both parties are shifting their focus to the general election on Nov. 8.
Smaller, maneuverable weapons systems could be critical to Taiwan’s endurance, and U.S. officials are quietly pushing Taiwanese officials to order more of them. Many of the weapons that could bolster Taiwan’s defenses are going to Ukraine, and arms makers are reluctant to set up new production lines without long-term orders.
Background: China has long sought to control Taiwan, which it considers part of its territory, and the U.S. has worked to help the island without enraging Beijing. President Biden said last month that the U.S. was “not encouraging” Taiwan’s independence, but he has also said that the U.S. would defend the island if China attacks.
Context: The Biden administration announced last month that it had approved a $1.1 billion weapons sale to Taiwan, and officials are discussing how to streamline the sale-and-delivery process. Getting weaponry through a Chinese blockade could risk setting off a confrontation between China and the U.S.