The US have again blocked a US$ 8.7 bn Taiwanese order for F-16’s, writes Wendell Minnick in Defense News. The move to please China, might cost the US up to annual 16,000 jobs, according to Lockheed Martin.
In Defense News:
Taiwan’s requests for F-16C/Ds and an upgrade package for 146 aging F-16A/B fighters have been on hold since 2006 and 2009, respectively. The U.S. government blocked three earlier LoR attempts for C/Ds made between 2006 and 2007.
Pro-Taiwan groups in Washington are urging Taiwan to formally request the right to resubmit the LoR before the opportunity passes.
“They need to [resubmit] if they’re going to take advantage of this window,” said Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council. “If they do nothing, the moment will pass.”
Support for an F-16 sale has gained momentum over the past month as members of the U.S. Congress, Lockheed and pro-Taiwan lobby groups have been working in concert to push the White House to release the fighters.
“They have submitted an LoR on three occasions and had it rejected,” said Mark Stokes, a former U.S. defense official, now with the Project 2049 Institute. He said this is one reason the U.S. and Taiwan should bring back the annual arms sales talks held between 1982 and 2001.
“At least Taiwan could make its requests formally” to the U.S. government, he said.
- Taiwan asks US to release weapons – Wendell Minnick (chinaherald.net)
- When Taiwan defers payments for US weapons – Wendell Minnick (chinaherald.net)
- Taiwan arms purchases help US economy – Wendell Minnick (chinaherald.net)
- PLA joins international military exchange – Wendell Minnick (chinaherald.net)