Taiwan wants to buy more F-16s and will press the issue at an annual defense meeting with US officials, a military officer said yesterday.
“We’ll utilize the opportunity to again express the hope of buying F-16s,” a Ministry of National Defense official said on condition of anonymity.
The US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference 2009 in Virginia, which runs from Sunday until Tuesday, will include speeches by state and defense department officials.
The Taiwanese side is headed by Deputy Minister of Defense Chaou Shih-chang (趙世璋), the official said.
Taiwan applied to the US government to buy 66 F-16 C/D fighters in early 2007, but observers said Washington held up the deal for fear of angering Beijing.
Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council, which organized the conference, urged the administration of US President Barack Obama to approve the purchase, citing China’s growing military might.
The new planes are meant to beef up the air force’s combat strength until Taiwan can buy so-called “third generation” fighters from the US, military officers said.
The US in 1992 sold Taiwan 150 less sophisticated F-16 fighters, but refused to supply the F-16 C/Ds that Taiwan now wants. The F-16 C/Ds have a longer range and more powerful ground attack capability.
Admiral Timothy Keating, head of the US Pacific Command, warned earlier this month that relations between Beijing and Washington could face at least temporary strain if the US administration agrees to sell Taiwan the advanced F-16 jets.
The US has remained Taiwan’s leading arms supplier even though Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of