More confusion over attempts by Taiwan to purchase advanced fighter aircraft from the US
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied reports that Taiwan’s latest bid to purchase new F-16 aircraft was turned down by the US Department of State on Friday.
In an article on Monday, Defense News reported that the State Department had turned down a request by the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington to submit a new official letter of request (LOR) to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) for the 66 F-16C/Ds, which Taiwan has sought to purchase for years.
The article said the State Department had blocked the request on behalf of the US National Security Council.
A US source independently confirmed to the Taipei Times yesterday that the request was turned down.
This would be the fourth failed attempt to submit an LOR for the F-16s and the first by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration. The first three bids were made between June 2006 and February 2007 under former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.