US support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia does not undermine Washington’s military support for Taiwan or its other allies in the Indo-Pacific region, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday during a briefing. ‘a press conference.
Kirby was speaking in response to a question about potential tensions caused by the huge amount of weapons being sent to kyiv. He said the war in Ukraine would “not divert our attention, our eyes from the Indo-Pacific.”
“Five of our seven treaty alliances are in [the Indo-Pacific]”, Kirby said earlier at the conference. “We take these commitments very, very seriously,” he said. Australia, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea have defense agreements with the United States, while tens of thousands of American soldiers are stationed in Asia.
Kirby’s remarks come after Taipei officials said there would be a years-long delay in delivering US howitzers due to limited production capacity, while a second package of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles could also be affected. In a statement, Taiwan’s defense ministry said the first batch of artillery systems may be pushed back from 2023 to 2026.
The delays were not directly related to US arms being supplied to Ukraine, but the Associated Press reported this week that those shipments were depleting US arms stockpiles.