[Ed. – A net positive, and long overdue.]
The Trump administration has approved the sale of dozens of new F-16 jet fighters to Taiwan, the first major warplane sale to the island state in nearly 30 years.
The interagency decision, to be announced in the near future, authorized the sale of up to 66 F-16V jet fighters at an estimated cost of $13 billion, according to administration officials familiar with internal discussions.
The jets are among several new weapons systems, including missiles, that are part of the administration’s latest arms sale to Taiwan, a key U.S. partner in the Asia Pacific region.
The jet sale reverses the Obama administration rejection of Taiwan’s request for the same number of F-15C/D jets over fears of upsetting China. The George W. Bush administration also blocked F-16 sales in 2007, amid worries about triggering a backlash from Beijing.