US Missiles Arrive in Taiwan in Warning Sign for China

US Missiles Arrive in Taiwan in Warning Sign for China

( – The world’s attention has been on Ukraine for over a year now, but the long-running tension between Taiwan and China hasn’t gone away. Many analysts worry that if Russia gets away with seizing territory from its neighbor, Beijing will take that as a green light for its own aggressive plans. Now, the US has sent a shipment of weapons to Taiwan as a warning to the Communist regime.

On May 25, a 747 cargo plane landed at Taipei’s international airport to deliver a shipment of FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The weapon entered US service in 1981 and first saw combat in British hands during the 1982 Falklands War. It has been constantly updated and is still the standard US short-range air defense missile.

The same basic weapon can be fired from helicopters and a variety of fighting vehicles, but it’s best known in the MANPADS — Man-Portable Air Defense System — role, where a single missile tube is fitted to a launcher an infantryman can fire from the shoulder. MANPADS can be easily concealed right up to the moment they’re fired.

For a Chinese invasion force trying to operate helicopters over Taiwan and fly supplies and reinforcements into the island, Stinger MANPADS would be a nightmare.

The Stinger shipment is just part of a $500 million package of US military aid headed for Taiwan this year. As it has for Ukraine, the Biden administration has used the president’s authority to draw down US weapon stocks as a way of diverting weapons to allies. Other shipments will include TOW and Javelin anti-tank missiles. These are all short-range weapons, which wouldn’t necessarily prevent a Chinese invasion but would cause heavy casualties once launched by Taiwan.

With this delivery, the US is sending a message — if China invades, it’s going to cost them. Will that be enough to deter the communist leadership? If it isn’t, Biden needs to make sure he restocks the US arms depots he’s emptying out with deliveries like this.

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