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Purchase of U.S. F-16 jets and submarines still under discussion: Taiwan Premier

Arms deal result of efforts by previous DPP government: DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen

Purchase of U.S. F-16 jets and submarines still under discussion: Taiwan Premier

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The exclusion of F-16C/D jets and of submarines from the recent United States arms deal did not mean that those purchases would not go ahead, Premier Wu Den-yih said Sunday.
The Obama Administration notified Congress Friday of its decision to sell 114 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile systems, 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, two Osprey Class mine hunting vessels, 12 ATM-84L and RTM-84L Harpoon Block II Telemetry missiles and a range of telecommunications equipment for a total price of US$6.4 billion.
However, the deal did not cover the advanced F-16C/D fighter jets and the diesel-fueled submarines Taiwan had been requesting for several years.
Taiwan and the U.S. were still discussing those two weapons systems and Washington was evaluating their sale, Wu said.
The premier also told reporters that the government would calculate if the cost of the package announced by the U.S. was not too high. The weapons had to come at a reasonable price for a useful quality level, he said.
Wu said discussions on the F-16 jets were most likely to bear fruit, while the price tag for the submarines was “scary.”
Separately, the Ministry of National Defense said Sunday it would continue to seek weapons purchases according to Taiwan’s defense needs.
MND spokesman Yu Sy-tue said Sunday that since armament systems recorded continues advances, Taiwan would stay on the lookout to use various channels to obtain the armaments necessary for its defense.
On the price tag of the U.S. package, the spokesman said the military had not yet received the relevant documents from Washington. When it did, it would carefully inspect each item and determine whether the budget was fair. Taiwan would negotiate with the U.S. to achieve the biggest advantage, Yu said.
The sale of the U.S. weapons package will become valid if Congress does not voice any objections within 30 days, but that is hardly likely to happen, observers say.
Former President George W. Bush first announced his intention to sell the arms to Taiwan in 2001, but the Kuomintang blocked a review of the deal at the Legislative Yuan for years in opposition to then-President Chen Shui-bian.
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said Sunday that Taiwan’s success in achieving the arms purchase was the result of hard work by the previous DPP administration.


Updated : 2021-06-17 02:31 GMT+08:00