The US-Taiwan Business Council welcomes the August 1, 2011 letter to President Barack Obama, where 181 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives stated their belief that “it is critical for the United States to sell the government of Taiwan all the F-16 C/Ds it requires.” The letter strengthens and reinforces the corresponding message in a similar letter sent earlier this year by 47 members of the U.S. Senate.
The government of Taiwan has attempted to purchase 66 new F-16 C/D model fighters from the United States since 2006, but has found itself in the precarious position of the U.S. refusing to even consider the sale. These new fighters would replace Taiwan’s aging fleet of Vietnam War -era F-5s and Mirage 2000s, which are to be retired from active service in the coming decade.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has committed the Obama Administration to decide by October 1 what – if anything – the U.S. is prepared to do in order to help modernize Taiwan’s air force. That includes making a decision on providing replacement F-16 C/Ds, as well as on upgrading Taiwan’s 145 existing F-16 A/Bs.