June 22, 2024

US approves $80 million sale of F-16 parts to Taiwan

The US State Department has approved the sale of spare parts and repair parts for F-16 fighter jets worth $80 million to Taiwan, the Pentagon’s Defense Cooperation Agency said on Wednesday.

The sale will “enhance recipient security and contribute to maintaining political stability, military balance and economic prosperity in the region,” the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense thanked the US and said the sale would boost Taiwan’s air force’s combat and defense needs. The sale is expected to be completed in July, the ministry said.

“By normalizing gray-zone harassment, the Chinese Communist Party has sought to reduce our naval and air training space and response time, and limit our right to self-defense,” it said in a statement.

China has repeatedly called on the United States, Taiwan’s main arms supplier, to stop selling arms to the island, which Beijing claims as its own territory, over Taipei’s strong objections.

China’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Speaking to reporters in parliament on Thursday, Taiwan’s Defense Minister Wellington Koo said Taiwan must improve its defense capabilities as part of “effective deterrence” under the US Indo-Pacific strategy.

“But for Taiwan-US military cooperation, there are many things we can and cannot say,” he said.

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