Five months after Taiwan made the request to buy F-16V fighter jets, the United States is yet to approve the proposed sale.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen yesterday expressed the hope that Washington would reach a decision on the sale.
Speaking at the opening of the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition, Tsai said, “I also hope that the US government can make a decision after they complete their internal process.”
The Ministry of National Defense made a request to the US in the first quarter of this year to purchase a fleet of advanced F-16V jets to increase Taiwan’s air defense capabilities amid increasing provocation from China.
However, progress appears to have stalled, as US President Donald Trump’s administration had yet to inform the US Congress of the proposed arms sale before it went into recess on July 26, five months after Taiwan made the request, Taipei Times reported.
The US has in recent times made several big ticket sale announcements to Taiwan including tanks and missiles. However, Taipei is upset over the delay in F-16 sale clearance as China has a clear air superiority over Taiwan.
According to some reports, the hold-up was due to the ongoing trade war between US and China.