Taiwan president urges U.S. to release F-16 jets.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou urged the U.S. to release F-16…

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou urged the U.S. to release F-16 fighters and submarines during a speech May 12 at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

New arms will allow Taipei to negotiate with Beijing on “equal footing,” he said. “This is why I continue to urge the U.S. to provide Taiwan with necessary weaponry … to keep its aerial and naval integrity intact, which is key to maintaining a credible defense.”

In 2001, the Bush administration promised Taiwan eight diesel electric submarines, but the deal has been held up by a combination of political and manufacturing hurdles. Taiwan’s request for 66 F-16C/D Block 50/52 fighters for $5.5 billion and a $4.5 billion upgrade package for 146 F-16A/B Block 20 fighters has been on hold since 2007 and 2009, respectively.

Source: Wendell Minnick for Defense News.

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  • Jeff

    @Hazekamp, they want to defend themselves that’s why unlike some countries they’re offering us the money for these weapons systems instead of just asking for a free ride. They’ve wanted to build indigenous fighters and the only reason they haven’t is that we keep leading them on about approving an arms sale.

  • Hazekamp

    It is high time other countries that call America friend and ally begin defending and feeding themselves. As the benefactor to many fledgling underdog nations, America should begin asking “what do you bring to the table?” Why should we help you if you apparently cannot help yourselves? How much longer should we keep applying these foreign aid bandages to countries who just want our dollar in the long run and bring America no real lasting and tangible benefit? There are plenty of problems at our own front doors, without supporting peoples and regimes halfway around the world.