Taiwan on Wednesday expressed sincere thanks to the Trump Administration for a proposed F-16 sale, saying the deal is a vote of confidence in bilateral relations.
“The $8 billion deal is a vote of confidence in Taiwan-U.S. relations and will help us maintain cross-strait peace and defend our democracy,’’ Taiwan’s Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu, said on Twitter.
“The decision made by the Trump Administration means a lot to regional stability,’’ Presidential Office spokesman, Ting Yun-Kung, said on Wednesday, citing recent frequent military exercises carried out by China in areas near Taiwan.
The planned U.S. arms sale to Taiwan could anger China, adding to the tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
On Monday, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed the proposed sale, Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, denounced the deal, urging the U.S. government to cancel it.
Taiwan on Wednesday said the planned sale helps improve the self-governing democracy’s air defence capabilities.
“This major arms sale will significantly boost Taiwan’s confidence to pursue the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,’’ Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Joanne Ou, said in a statement.
According to U.S. Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the State Department on Tuesday notified the Congress of the proposed deal, which includes the sale of 66 F-16 fighter jets and related equipment.
“This proposed sale will contribute to the recipient’s capability to provide for the defence of its airspace, regional security and interoperability with the U.S.,’’ the DSCA statement said.