An Air Force official yesterday told the legislature that the US could announce the approval of the sale of F-16C/D fighter aircraft to Taiwan as early as June.
“We have learned that the US military supports the F-16 deal and are optimistic that the US might announce the sale after May,” Air Force Chief of Staff Major General Liu Chen-wu (劉震武) told the legislature’s Diplomacy and National Defense Committee.
He said the military was awaiting the announcement.
The military expected to sign a letter of offer and acceptance for the deal in November and that at the time the military offered to make an initial payment of NT$19.9 billion (US$653.8 million), he said.
The military’s budget request in 2006 showed that the Cabinet had allocated NT$16.03 billion to begin the procurement of F-16s, even though Washington had yet to approve the deal.
The initial payment was only a fraction of the total cost for 66 aircraft. But the funds were returned after the US did not approve the arms deal.
The legislature set aside NT$20 billion for the purchase of F-16s last year, but it requested that the funds be frozen until the deal was approved.
Liu made the presentation to the legislative committee with the hope that the committee could support funding for the acquisition.
The committee agreed yesterday to unfreeze the funds if and when the US has announced the deal.
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
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