Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said Monday that Taiwan is in talks with the Pentagon on the US providing a $500 million weapons package that would come at no cost to Taipei.
"These extra weapons will be given to us for free and will not be deducted from the purchase list, which has been delayed by the US," Chiu told Taiwan's legislature, according to The South China Morning Post. He said the talks have been ongoing for about four months.
When asked what kind of weapons Taiwan will receive, Chiu said, "They will include missiles and some logistic services to help train our soldiers so that they will be familiar with the weapons' operations as soon as they arrive."
He said the arms will be "items readily available in the US inventory." The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) included $1 billion in Presidential Drawdown Authority for Taiwan, which allows the US to send weapons directly from Pentagon stockpiles.
The US has sold weapons to Taiwan since Washington severed relations with Taipei in 1979 but has not provided free military aid, making the support unprecedented and sure to anger Beijing. China's People's Liberation Army launched major drills around Taiwan in December 2022 in response to President Biden signing the NDAA into law.