Taiwan is expecting a fast-tracked US$500 million weapons package from Washington this year to make up for delays in arms procurements, the island’s defence minister said on Monday (May 8).

The self-ruled, democratic island lives under constant threat of an invasion by China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory to be seized one day – by force if necessary.

With Beijing increasing its sabre-rattling towards the island, Taiwan’s key ally the United States in September approved the Taiwan Policy Act – which would see new legislation provide billions in military aid to Taipei.