Tue, Oct 02, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Senior US officials skip defense meet

SENDING A MESSAGE?The US said one of the absences was due to a schedule conflict, but rumors flew that the territorial spat with Japan or F-16 sales were the true cause

By Nadia Tsao and Jake Chung  /  Staff Reporter, with Staff Writer and CNA

Though the Obama administration finally announced its stance on the arms sale at last year’s Taiwan Defense Industry Conference — stating that it would not sell the F-16C/D, but would offer an upgrade package for Taiwan’s existing fleet of F-16A/Bs — Cornyn and others have not ceased pressuring the Obama administration on the issue.

The overtly active pressure may have annoyed the administrative department, TECRO officials said, adding that whether the absence of senior US officials at this year’s conference would lead to the discontinuation of the 10 year-old conference remained to be seen.

The US has never expressed dissatisfaction with Taipei’s policy regarding the Diaoyutai Islands, the TECRO officials said, adding that senior US officials were still willing to meet Yang in Washington after he attended the conference.

US-Taiwan relations have not changed, they said, adding that the incident nevertheless highlighted the conflicting views of the Ma administration and the business council on the F-16C/D issue.

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