Trump Administration Approves F-16 Fighter Jet Sales to Taiwan (excerpt)
(Source: New York Times; published August 16, 2019)
By Edward Wong
The Trump administration is moving forward with an $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, American officials said Friday. The move is certain to further anger China at a time when a long-running trade war between Washington and Beijing has upended relations between the world’s two largest economies and contributed to stock market turmoil.
The sale of 66 jets to Taiwan would be the largest or one of the largest single arms package transactions between the United States and the democratic, self-governing island. The State Department told Congress Thursday night, right after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had signed a memo approving the sale, officials said. Congress is not expected to object to the move.
For weeks, lawmakers from both parties had accused the administration of delaying the sale to avoid jeopardizing trade negotiations or to use it as a bargaining chip. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.
Inhofe, Cornyn Statement on Proposed F-16 Sales to Taiwan
(Source: Sen. Jim Inhofe; issued August 16, 2019)
U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and John Cornyn (R-Texas) today praised the announcement by the State Department that the U.S. will sell 66 F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft to Taiwan:
“As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act this year, our defense cooperation with Taiwan remains an important pillar of security and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region as a whole. The sale of F-16 aircraft will help Taiwan maintain a sufficient self-defense capability and field a capable, modern fighter fleet—all the more important to deter aggression given Beijing’s increasing assertiveness and military buildup. We commend President Trump and his Administration for their support of Taiwan and a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
Background: Last March, Inhofe and Cornyn asked President Trump to support Taiwan’s efforts to procure the F-16 aircraft. The National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020 includes provision that would express the sense of the Senate concerning the enhancement of the United States-Taiwan defense relationship.