Posted on May 30, 2011 by modelworks
Nearly half the Senate (45 members) surged President Obama on Thursday to authorize quickly the sale of F-16 jet fighters to Taiwan, a request that has been hanging for five years.
Taiwan says it needs the 66 planes to maintain a credible defense and provide leverage in negotiations with Beijing. U.S. agreement to the sale, worth billions of dollars, would anger China’s communist-led government and would set back improved U.S.-China relations.
“Without new fighter aircraft and upgrades to its existing fleet of F-16s, Taiwan will be dangerously exposed to Chinese military threats, aggression and provocation, which pose significant national security implications for the United States,” says a letter, signed by 45 of the 100 members of the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans.
Gary Locke, nominated to become U.S. ambassador to China, told lawmakers Thursday that no decision has been made on the sale, and the request for the F-16 C/Ds still is being evaluated by the Defense and State departments.He said China should reduce its military deployments aimed at Taiwan.
The Obama administration faces an awkward choice. It is obligated under U.S. law to provide Taiwan the means of self-defense. Approving the sale, however, could prompt China to cut military ties that the United States has worked hard to forge as a way of smoothing over tensions in the Asia-Pacific where China’s military buildup has caused widespread unease.
Source: Fox News
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Posted on October 13, 2010 by modelworks
China and the United States clashed Oct. 11 over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan as top defense officials struggled to shore up fragile military relations.
China pinpointed the weapons sales to Taiwan as the main hurdle to improving military ties with the United States, while U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates voiced frustration at Beijing’s stance.The difference of opinion emerged after Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie held talks with Gates in Hanoi, the first such meeting between the two nation’s defense chiefs in almost a year.
China broke off defense ties with the United States in January over American plans to sell Taiwan more than $6 billion worth of arms, including Blackhawk helicopters, Patriot missiles and mine sweepers.
“The biggest obstacle in defense relations between the U.S. and China is U.S. arms sales to Taiwan,” Guan You Fei, deputy head of external relations with China’s defense ministry, told a news conference after the meeting.
The two defense chiefs met ahead of an Asia-wide security forum being held in the Vietnamese capital on Oct. 12, with China’s expanding military power and assertive stance in maritime disputes raising anxiety across the region.
After the 30-minute meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Gates told reporters there was no reason for the Taiwan arms sales to derail a much needed security dialogue, as the U.S. military had little to do with the policy.
Amid a diplomatic row between China and Japan prompted by a collision in disputed waters last month, Gates said the United States wanted to see the two countries settle the dispute.
- DefenseNews -
Read related story:Taiwan officer visits U.S. to push F-16C/D sale
Filed under: News | Tagged: Beijing, Black Hawk, China, Robert Gates, Taiwan, U.S., UH-60 Blackhawk | Leave a Comment »