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《TAIPEI TIMES》 US department approves F-16 parts sales to Taiwan

An air force F-16 jet approaches for landing at the Hualien Air Force Base on May 24.
Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP

An air force F-16 jet approaches for landing at the Hualien Air Force Base on May 24. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP

2024/06/07 03:00

SECURITY: Minister of National Defense Wellington Koo said US President Joe Biden’s repeated remarks about defending Taiwan show the nation’s importance

/ Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTON

The US Department of State has approved two potential sales to Taiwan of F-16 parts and related equipment worth a total of US$300 million, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday.

The deals would represent the 14th arms sale to Taiwan since US President Joe Biden took office in 2021.

In two press releases, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the packages would include standard (US$220 million) and non-standard (US$80 million) spare and repair parts, components, consumables and accessories for F-16 aircraft, as well as other technical and logistics support services.

The proposed sales would “improve [Taiwan’s] ability to meet current and future threats by maintaining the operational readiness of [Taiwan’s] fleet of F-16 aircraft,” the agency said.

They would also help improve the security of the nation and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance and economic progress in the region, it said.

The agency said it had notified the US Congress of the potential sales.

The approval does not indicate that a contract for the equipment has been signed.

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said that the sales would help maintain Taiwan’s combat capabilities as the Chinese Communist Party continues to suppress Taiwan’s air and maritime training space and response time through “gray zone” tactics, restricting the nation’s right to self defense.

The ministry urged China to cease “all irrational actions” against Taiwan, saying that stability in the Strait requires the joint efforts of both sides.

Asked about Biden’s repeated remarks about defending Taiwan and his administration’s approval of arms sales, Minister of National Defense Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said the remarks show the importance of Taiwan.

The nation needs to enhance its self-defense capabilities, he said.

“Judging from Biden’s past remarks, we can see the importance of Taiwan, as well as that the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait are indispensable to maintaining global peace and prosperity,” Koo said.

“Taiwan must first bolster its self-defense capabilities and become a force for deterrence by joining the US Indo-Pacific strategy. This is a crucial task of the defense ministry,” he addded.

Meanwhile, the Taiwan-US Defense Industry Symposium opened in Taipei yesterday.

There has been speculation that US defense contractors participating in the forum are to meet with defense ministry officials to talk about details of the arms sales, apart from visiting the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology and Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (漢翔航空工業).

“The forum is an event for exchange among businesses in the private sector and it has nothing to do with arms sales,” Koo said.

Additional reporting by Shelley Shan

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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