September 22, 2011
The Obama administration formally notified Congress and announced details of its decision to sell Taiwan a new $5.8 billion package of arms, which includes an upgrade package to Taiwan’s existing fighter jets — but not the new F-16 jets it had requested.
“The recipient is one of the major powers in Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in that region,” stated the notification on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, where foreign military sales are posted. “It is in the U.S. national interest to assist the recipient in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability, which will contribute to an acceptable military balance in the area.”
The bulk of the arms package is made up of $5.3 billion worth of retrofits for Taiwan’s 145 F-16 A/B jet fighters.