FPI / August 23, 2019
By Richard Fisher, Geostrategy-Direct.com
On Aug. 15, the Trump administration informally told the U.S. Congress that it had approved the $8 billion sale of Lockheed-Martin F-16V fighters to Taiwan, that now requires Congressional approval to proceed.
Taiwan has been seeking upgraded and more capable F-16s since 1997, in the wake of the 1996 Taiwan Straits crisis that saw China fire short range ballistic missiles in warning against the people of Taiwan.
In response, the U.S. deployed two aircraft carrier battle groups to warn off China.
The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations all refused to respond positively to Taiwan’s request for F-16s due in part to pressure from China.
On August 16, 2019 Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying threatened the Trump administration, saying that China would “take countermeasures and the U.S. will be responsible for all related consequences.”
The 2019 Pentagon China Military Power report notes that China’s People’s Liberation Army has “600” 4th generation fighter aircraft.