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China's Greatest Fear: Taiwan Armed with F-35s

Zachary Keck


And it just might happen. 

Taiwan has support for this from some members of Congress, which has traditionally been more pro-Taiwan than the executive branch. In a letter addressed to Trump on March 26, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. James Inhofe urged the president to sell Taiwan the F-35B fighter jets. If that could not be arranged, then Cornyn and Inhofe that said Washington should sell Taipei the F-16V.

Taiwan’s Defense Minister has revealed that his country is engaged in negotiations with the United States to acquire the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

During an interview with the local Liberty Times, Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa was asked whether Taiwan has officially asked the United States to sell it F-35 jets and M1 tanks. In discussing the former, Yen stated “I can confirm that negotiations are ongoing.” His remarks were reported in English by the Taipei Times, a sister publication of the Liberty Times.

Yen later clarified his response. “To answer the question as to whether we have formally requested the F-35 from the U.S., although we have been holding dialogues with U.S. officials, they have not reached a definitive conclusion,” he said. “U.S. officials are evaluating it, and they might have their own concerns over its high cost or other considerations.” Thus, it sounds like Taiwan has not officially requested F-35s yet, but intends to do so if the United States seems open to selling the fighter jet to the island nation.

(This first appeared in May.)

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