Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen addresses soldiers in front of an F-16 fighter. Photo: Handout

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry has insisted that Washington’s sale of F-16V fighter jets will come though, after a report by Time magazine that the administration of US President Donald Trump has put the deal on hold so as not to derail trade negotiations with China.

The ministry said it had maintained close communications with the US State Department and with F-16 manufacturer Lockheed Martin since a letter of request to purchase the jets was submitted to Washington.

Citing three anonymous US officials, Time reported on Friday that Trump had put the sale on hold until a trade deal with China can be sealed. The US Congress must also endorse any arms sales to Taiwan, though the administration is yet to submit such a request to lawmakers, according to the magazine.

Moreover, the State Department, which has reportedly opposed the arms sale, has also called for an inter-agency meeting to determine whether the US should sell M1 Abrams tanks to Taiwan.

The White House’s initial decision to allow Taiwan to buy more than 60 F-16Vs, first reported in late February,  was widely interpreted as a show of support for Taiwan, against the backdrop of China flexing its muscles.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry noted that since Trump’s inauguration, the US had approved two rounds of arms sales. The upcoming deal would serve as a further affirmation of the Taiwan Relations Act, which authorizes the US to provide Taiwan with defensive arms.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen sits in the cockpit of an F-16V jet. Photo: Handout

Meanwhile, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen thanked pilots with the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing of the Taiwanese air force, which launched an emergency interception mission aboard five F-16s on March 31 to block Chinese J-11 fighters and H-6K bombers after they flew over the median line of the Taiwan Strait.

It has been reported that the standoff between Taiwan’s F-16s and China’s J-11s on the edge of Taiwan’s airspace lasted for more than 10 minutes.

Tsai vowed that the military would “forcefully ” fend off any People’s Liberation Army aircraft or vessel that crosses the median line.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Join the Conversation

574 Comments

  1. Whats up this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!|

  2. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i am happy to express that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I such a lot definitely will make certain to do not put out of your mind this website and give it a glance regularly.|

  3. Great blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  4. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks a lot!|

  5. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your website offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will
    be thankful to you.

  6. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you really recognize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also seek advice from my web site =). We can have a link alternate contract between us!

  7. I really love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own personal blog and would like to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thank you!|

  8. Thanks , I’ve just been searching for information about this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have found out till now. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you positive in regards to the source?|

  9. Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers|

  10. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different website and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking into your web page for a second time.|

  11. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Many thanks|

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *