U.S. declines to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan: Wang Jin-pyng

The U.S. government has declined to make a long-awaited sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan for fear of upsetting China, Taiwan’s parliament speaker said yesterday.
The White House blocked the US$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,” Wang said in an interview.
“They wouldn’t name a price. It’s mainly because mainland China would oppose the sale.”
Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary, and opposes all U.S. arms sales to the island.
Although China-Taiwan ties have improved since President Ma Ying-jeou took office on the island last year, deep military distrust lingers between the two sides.
Taiwan first asked to buy new F-16s in 2007 after approving substantial funding for the aircraft. Wang 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.