Chinese FM lambasts ‘extremely wrong and dangerous move’ as US FIM-92 Stinger missiles arrive in Taiwan island
Published: May 26, 2023 07:18 PM
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The US arms sale to the island of Taiwan is "an extremely wrong and dangerous move," and China will firmly safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial security, the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned on Friday, after Taiwan's defense authorities confirmed that the first shipment of US FIM-92 Stinger missiles had arrived in the island while Washington is also reportedly helping the island obtain access to NATO's Link-22 secure data link system.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks at a press briefing on Friday. She urged the US to stop arming Taiwan island and stop creating tensions across the Taiwan Straits.

US arms sale to Taiwan is a grave violation of the three China-US joint communiques, undermines China's sovereignty and security interests, and undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, Mao said.

We once again warn the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities that attempts to rely on external forces to seek "independence" and refuse reunification by force will only end in failure, Mao said.

Citing defense officials on the island, Taiwan media said that US$500 million worth of arms sales had recently begun, and that FIM-92 Stinger missiles had arrived at Taoyuan airport on Thursday.

The US has announced the sale of the FIM-92 Stinger missiles to Taiwan in 2019.

The US will also help Taiwan island obtain access to NATO's Link-22 secure data link system, which will facilitate the exchange of data among the military units of participating sides.

In response, 21 PLA aircraft and 11 PLA Navy vessels around Taiwan were detected on Friday morning. In total, 13 of the detected aircraft had crossed the "median line" of the Taiwan Straits or entered the island's self-proclaimed southwest and southeast "Air Defense Identification Zone," according to a release by defense authorities on the Taiwan island.

"The man-portable air-defense system like the FIM-92 Stinger missile has proved its lethality in urban warfare… and once Taiwan authorities obtained the Link-22 system, it means that the island will be brought under the US combat command structure," Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times on Friday

This shows that under the US conception, once a military conflict breaks out across the Taiwan Straits, the US will not be on the frontline, but will command and sacrifice the troops on the island to serve the US strategy of containing the Chinese mainland, Song added.

Ironically, Chiu Kuo-cheng, defense chief of the Taiwan island, said on Thursday that efforts should be made to avoid a war, as "once it starts, it will be truly disastrous." He added that there is no longer a distinction between the frontline and rear for Taiwan, emphasizing that the island "would not provoke hostility."

Considering that the military of Taiwan authorities have been introducing new weapons and equipment, and their connection with the US is becoming closer, the PLA will continue to improve its combat plan, so that the regular military exercises could better align with the current and even future situation, Song said.

The Taiwan Straits, the entire island of Taiwan and its surrounding waters are within the range of the PLA's firepower, and the PLA's operational capabilities are aimed not only at Taiwan secessionists, but also the external military forces that attempt to create trouble in the region, Song said.

If outside military forces dare to assist Taiwan secessionist to split the territory from China, PLA will use its own way to solve the Taiwan question once and for all, and let them know through actions that "Taiwan independence" is a dead end, Song noted.