It looks like Obama thought better of selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. Last night, The Washington Times reported that the administration had approved a $4.2 billion arms deal that will upgrade the country's existing fighter jets but "decided against selling Taiwan 66 advanced F-16 C/D model aircraft, despite several requests from Taipei and Congress." Today, Bloomberg News followed up the Times report by noting a sternly-worded briefing with Beijing's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman who stated the obvious: "China is opposed to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan." The conservative D.C. newspaper reported that the development would be a disappointment for U.S. lawmakers looking to bolster Taiwan's defenses:
A senior administration official said the decision not to sell new F-16s is a setback for officials in the administration who are concerned about Taiwan’s declining defenses. The opposition to selling the new jets came mainly from within the State Department, the official said.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.