Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - Page 3 News List

US should offer F-16V jets to Taiwan: former adviser

Staff writer, with CNA, Washington

An F-16V jet is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of a reader

The US should sell Taiwan F-16V jets because the nation’s air force and army are outgunned by China, a former White House adviser said on Monday.

Dennis Wilder, managing director of the Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University, said that the sale would reflect the buildup of Chinese military force positioned against Taiwan.

He made the comments in an interview after attending a forum titled “US-China diplomacy: 40 years of what’s worked and what hasn’t,” at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center in Washington.

The forum was also attended by former US assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs David Shear and Amy Celico, former senior director for China affairs at the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Beijing has to accept that if it continues its aggressive military buildup, the US has committed itself to helping Taiwan defend itself under the Taiwan Relations Act, Wilder said.

“Therefore I can’t see why as long as the Pentagon feels there is a good justification for this, not to sell F-16Vs to Taiwan,” he said.

The former National Security Council director for China said that US President Donald Trump’s administration is still sending mixed messages on Taiwan.

“I think there needs to be a China-Taiwan policy process that kind of comes out somewhere on the issue because I’m not exactly sure where the Trump administration is on the future of US-Taiwan relations,” he said.

Shear agreed with Wilder about selling arms to Taiwan.

Selling F-16V aircraft to Taiwan is “a very sensible approach to Taiwan’s military requirements,” he said in an interview.

“There are other areas where we have encouraged Taiwan to work on things that are affordable, and asymmetrically address the challenges they face from the Chinese,” he said.

Shear said he hoped that Taiwanese authorities “also consider the other things they need to do to maintain a deterrence and to ensure that the all-volunteer force remains effective.”

The US Department of Defense’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency on April 15 approved a US$500 million package for Taiwan.

The package would continue a pilot training program and offer maintenance and logistics support for F-16 aircraft.

This story has been viewed 2261 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top