, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Thread: Trump administration plans $8 billion fighter jet sale to #Taiwan, angering #China - Tough, let China get angry washingtonpost.com/national-secur…
The Trump administration is pressing ahead with an $8 billion sale of new 66 F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, a move likely to raise strong objections from China amid the deepening trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.
The State Department submitted the package to Congress for informal review late Thursday, and its not expected to meet opposition, according to US officials & other people familiar with the matter. It would be the largest and most significant sale of weaponry to Taiwan in decades
The deal has been in the works for months & lawmakers from both political parties had questioned whether the White House would scuttle it with hopes of softening the ground for a US-China trade pact or seek to use the jets as a bargaining chip in the deadlocked negotiations.
Neither the White House nor the State Department responded to requests for comment. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, hailed the move in a statement Friday, calling it “an important step in support of Taiwan’s self-defense efforts.”
Likewise, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) and ranking Republican Michael McCaul (Tex.) said in a statement that the sale “sends a strong message about the U.S. commitment to security and democracy in the Indo-Pacific.”
Some experts said that advancing the arms sale now, amid stalled trade talks and pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, will exacerbate the already fraught U.S.-China relationship.
They also fear that the sale could result in China imposing sanctions on U.S. defense companies that sell arms to Taiwan and do business in China.
Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, played down the risk of a Chinese overreaction to the advancing arms deal. “China never likes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
Will they object? Yes. Is this going to trigger a crisis in the relationship? No. This in and of itself is not going to derail progress on a trade agreement.”
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