US weapons deal progressing

GROWTH STRATEGY: If the US$8 billion sale of Lockheed Martin F-16 jets goes through, the air force would increase the number of tactical fighter wings from seven to eight

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 17, 2019
By: Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

US President Donald Trump’s administration is moving forward with a US$8 billion arms sale to Taiwan of

An F-16V jet lands on the runway in Changhua County during the 35th Han Kuang military exercises on May 28.
Photo: Sam Yeh / AFP

Lockheed Martin F-16 jets despite Beijing’s protests, the Washington Post reported yesterday, citing an anonymous official and other sources familiar with the matter.

The US Department of State notified the US Congress late on Thursday that it would submit the deal to lawmakers for an informal review, the Post said, before calling the potential deal “the largest and most significant sale of weaponry” to Taiwan in years.

The decision came amid stalling trade talks and rising tensions between the US and China, the report said.

Lawmakers from the Democratic and Republican parties had raised concerns that Trump could scuttle the arms sale to assist ongoing trade negotiations with Beijing or use it as a bargaining chip, the report said.    [FULL  STORY]

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