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Amid China threats, US announces sales of F-16 parts to Taiwan

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The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that the US Department of State had cleared two possible sales to Taiwan of F-16 parts and supporting equipment, valued at a total of USD 300 million for Taiwan.

Since President Joe Biden assumed office in 2021, the agreements would mark the fourteenth arms sale from the US to the island nation.

Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the packages would include standard (USD 220 million) and non-standard (USD 80 million) spare and repair parts, components, consumables, and accessories for F-16 aircraft, as well as other technical and logistics support services, Focus Taiwan reported citing the press releases.

The DSCA stated that the proposed sales would further strengthen Taiwan’s requirements “to meet current and future threats by maintaining the operational readiness of [Taiwan’s] fleet of F-16 aircraft.”

According to the DSCA, the package would also support regional economic growth, political stability, military balance, and enhanced Taiwanese security.

The US Congress was informed of the possible sales, according to the DSCA. The permission does not imply that an agreement has been signed for the equipment, reported Focus Taiwan.

The announcement of the sales package comes at a crucial time when the Chinese Communist Party continues to stifle Taiwan’s air and maritime training space and response time through grey-zone tactics, restricting Taiwan’s right to self-defence.

In retaliation, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) stated on Thursday that the sales would help maintain Taiwan’s combat capabilities.

Lai Ching-te, the newly sworn President of the self-governed island, recently in a stern warning to China, called on Beijing to stop intimidating the island nation, over which China continues to make its claim.

China has also intensified military drills after Lai was sworn in as the president of the island nation, raising tensions in the region.