US approves sale of F-16 parts to Taiwan for $80m
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US approves sale of F-16 parts to Taiwan for $80m

Taiwan thanks US and says sale would boost combat and defence needs

Taiwan Air Force F-16 aircrafts fly over Hualien, Taiwan, on April 9, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)
Taiwan Air Force F-16 aircrafts fly over Hualien, Taiwan, on April 9, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)

LOS ANGELES - The United States State Department has approved the sale to Taiwan of F-16 fighter jet spare and repair parts for an estimated US$80 million, the Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency said on Wednesday.

The sale will help "improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region," the Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

Taiwan's defence ministry thanked the United States and said the sale would boost the combat and defence needs of its air force. The ministry said the sale would be finalised in July.

"With normalised gray-zone harassments, the Chinese Communist Party attempted to squeeze our naval and air training space and response time, as well as limiting our rights of self-defence," it said in a statement.

China has repeatedly demanded the United States, Taiwan's most important arms supplier, halt the sale of weapons to the island, which Beijing claims as its own territory over Taipei's strong objection.

China's defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Talking to reporters in parliament on Thursday, Taiwan Defence Minister Wellington Koo said Taiwan must boost its self defense capabilities to be a part of "effective deterrence" in the US Indo-Pacific strategy.

"But for Taiwan-US military cooperation, there are many things we can only do, not tell," he said.

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