The State Department said Wednesday that a shipment of US-made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles that arrived in Taiwan last week was part of a $223.56 million arms sale to Taipei that was approved in 2019.
Taiwanese media reported that the Stinger shipment was part of a new $500 million military aid package that the US has been preparing to send Taiwan, but a State Department spokesperson told The Hill that wasn’t true.
“This case predates authorities included in Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act,” the spokesperson said, referring to the amendment in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that included unprecedented military aid for Taiwan.
The NDAA included $1 billion in aid for Taiwan under the Presidential Drawdown Authority, the primary way the US has been arming Ukraine. The PDA allows President Biden to ship weapons directly from US military stockpiles.
Reports of the Stinger shipment came after both the US and Taiwan said the Pentagon was preparing to ship $500 million in weapons to Taiwan using the PDA.
The US has sold weapons to Taiwan since Washington severed diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979, but arms deals have increased in recent years as the US has taken a more hardline position toward China. The US says there is a $19 billion backlog in arms sales for Taiwan since 2019 that it’s trying to fulfill.