Pompeo says F-16 sale to Taiwan appropriate

China protests sale of fighter jets to Taiwan, Pompeo says sale consistent with past US administrations

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed in a radio interview on Tuesday (June 23) that he has discussed various military issues with the director of China’s Central Foreign Affairs Commission, Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪).

Pompeo held a closed-door meeting with Yang on June 17th, Liberty Times reported. The two officials met in Hawaii and had "constructive discussions" in which both sides "agreed to continue engagement and communication," according to Reuters.

Although Yang expressed dissatisfaction with the U.S. Navy’s freedom of navigation operations in the Indo-Pacific region, Pompeo made it clear that they would continue.

In regard to the Taiwan issue, Yang emphasized China’s discontent with the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan — particularly the sale of F-16V fighter jets. However, Pompeo emphasized that arms sales to Taiwan are completely appropriate and consistent with the practices of other U.S. administrations.

Pompeo also pointed out that the U.S. would carry on doing anything necessary to ensure that the American people continue to enjoy freedom, security, and prosperity and said that Washington would not be threatened by the Chinese Communist Party.

Washington agreed to sell Taipei 66 F-16Vs last August. The delivery of the fighter jets is expected to be completed by the end of 2028.