Taiwan defense chief says talks underway with US on weapon-stocking plan

Taiwan's defense minister says talks are underway with the United States over plans to keep a stockpile of US military weapons and ammunition in Taiwan.

Chiu Kuo-cheng acknowledged this during a parliamentary committee meeting on Monday.

He was asked by an opposition party member about the possibility of Taiwan being asked to allow the US to move some stockpiles currently in other parts of East Asia, such as Japan and South Korea, to Taiwan. Chiu said that the discussions are underway.

The US National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2023, which was signed into law last year, authorizes the president to establish a contingency stockpile of munitions and other items for Taiwan.

The US and western allies have so far been able to provide weapons and other supplies to help Ukraine counter Russia's invasion. But they could have a tough time doing so for Taiwan, if Chinese troops impose an air and sea blockade in the area.

Chiu's acknowledgement of the talks with the US over the stockpile plan is widely seen as an attempt by Taiwan to deter Beijing from taking provocative actions in the region.