Date: August 18, 2020
By: Anders Hagstrom, White House Correspondent
The U.S. has long been Taiwan’s largest supplier of military weapons and the deal represents one of the largest in the nation’s history. The move is sure to anger China, which considers Taiwan to be under its domain. Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will produce 90 new-generation F-16s for sale to Taiwan. Taiwan last purchased a fleet of F-16s in 1992, according to the Asia Times.
While the Pentagon has announced the sale of 90 jets, it has not yet confirmed publicly that Taiwan is the buyer. The AFP has reported, however, that sources close to the deal have confirmed the buyer.
The U.S. government last year approved Taiwan for the purchase of 66 jets, but the new contract has been increased amid President Donald Trump’s increasing criticism of China.