Tuesday, March 10, 2009

U.S. to Taiwan - "No" to any F-16s

(Based on a article by Ralph Jennings in Taipei, posted on Reuters.com March 10, 2009).  

Reuters reporter in Taipei, Ralph Jennings, reports that the U.S. government has decided not to sell any F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan for fear of upsetting China.  That was a statement that Taiwan's parliament speaker made on Tuesday.

The White House has blocked the $4.9 billion deal for 66 advanced F-16s last year and there was little hope of it being revived this year said Wang Jin-pyng. "The U.S. doesn't want to give them to us."

China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong's Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists (KMT) fled to the island.  

While relations have improved between the two, Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule by force someday and it opposes all U.S. arms sales to the island.  Washington recognizes China diplomatically and is seeking to improve relations with the Asian economic powerhouse.

Taiwan first asked to buy new F-16s in 2007 after approving substantial funding for the aircraft.  Wan said Taiwan's' current fleet is 16 years old.  

The U.S. Pacific Command said in July that U.S. policymakers saw no pressing need to sell advanced arms to Taiwan.

That is basically what the news article reported on the matter.  

As for what I have to say about this news event - I think it sucks!  Back in my college days (1978-1983), I viewed our nation turning away from Taiwan as a stain on our nations honour.  China is holding so much of our nation debt now, we have to bow to their wishes as far as the island of Taiwan is concerned. I do not like this current state of affairs we find ourselves in.

And added on top of this the recent incidents in the Yellow Sea between U.S. Navy ships and elements of the Chinese Navy.  

We are witnessing China test our new U.S. President Obama like they tested President George W. Bush back when he was a newbie.  


Ref. "U.S. declines to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan:  MP"  (http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE5292WJ20090310).

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