Prominent US newspaper editorial demands arms sales to Taiwan

The Wall Street Journal added the Trump administration was `close’ to approving the sale of 60 advanced F-16Vs to Taiwan

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The F-16V fighter jet (image courtesy of Lockheed Martin).

The F-16V fighter jet (image courtesy of Lockheed Martin).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Responding to the incursion of two Chinese J-11 fighter jets into Taiwan territory, a Wall Street Journal editorial on Monday (April 1) called on U.S. President Donald Trump to sell the country weapons so it can defend itself.

The “intentional, reckless, and provocative” incident, according to Taipei’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, underlines exactly why the planes are needed. The WSJ added that though the incursion was the first since 2011, Chinese planes have been “skirting” Taiwan for years and “Sunday’s breach" underscores the danger of that impunity.

"The Chinese may hope Sunday’s escalation will convince Washington that its support for Taiwan’s democracy isn’t worth the risks. This strategy has worked for decades to convince American presidents not to sell fighters to Taiwan, and the island’s forces are now heavily outnumbered.”

During President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) visit to Hawaii last week she told the Heritage Foundation via video link that Taiwan needed to buy American M-1 Abrams tanks and F-16V fighters for “self-defense” and “deterrence.” Taiwan has 144 fourth-generation F-16s from the 1990s and is massively outgunned by China, according to WSJ, “an advantage that has made Beijing more aggressive.”

The editorial went on to say that Trump’s administration is “close” to accepting Taiwan’s request for some 60 advanced F-16Vs. The editorial concluded by quoting Taiwan’s president: “Such a sale would `show to the world the U.S. commitment to Taiwan’s defense.'”