President Barack Obama has to strike a balance on one lingering problem: is Taiwan getting its new F-16’s or not. Defense expert Wendell Minnick believes Taiwan might get an upgrade, but no new F’16’s, possibly jeopardizing Sino-US relations he tells M&Q.
Analysts described any new sale of F-16s as a red line for China, which the US sees as a crucial economic partner. Washington hopes not to upset Beijing as it did in January 2010 with the approval of a 6.4-billion-US-dollar arms package for Taiwan.
US President Barack Obama might decline the request for 66 new fighters but offer to upgrade the existing F-16 fleet, said Wendell Minnick, Asia bureau chief with the Defense News weekly. The US wants to help Taiwan, he said, because the island is a ‘pivot point’ for control over the militarily sensitive South China Sea.
- Taiwan might build own fighters, if F-16 deal falls through – Wendell Minnick (chinaherald.net)
- Again no F-16’s for Taiwan – Wendell Minnick (chinaherald.net)
- When Taiwan defers payments for US weapons – Wendell Minnick (chinaherald.net)
- Taiwanese military prefer US products – Wendell Minnick (chinaherald.net)
- Taiwan AF focuses on indigenous fighters – Wendell Minnick (chinaherald.net)