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Taiwan’s Deputy Legislative Speaker Tseng Yung-chuan , a close ally of President Ma Ying-jeou, said on Monday he expects the US will agree only to upgrade the nation’s existing fleet of F-16 jets and not sell Taipei new ones. He said Taiwan has been grateful for US support for decades, but a decision against providing F-16C/D aircraft would “not be satisfactory.”
Two US senators who share that view introduced legislation on Monday demanding US President Barack Obama authorize sales of at least 66 of the F-16C/Ds to Taiwan.
By supplying the planes, the US would anger Beijing and would set back Washington’s efforts to improve its own relations with China.
While Tseng said he was not aware a formal decision on the planes had been conveyed to Taiwan, he said through an interpreter: “Based upon the current situation, it seems that the US is only going to upgrade the F-16A/B air fighters. Speaking for the legislature, this is not satisfactory.”
“These weapons are not going to be used for war. It’s purely based on the purpose of national defense,” he said.
Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the US is legally required to provide Taiwan with arms for its self defense.
Source: Taipei Times