The US-Taiwan Business Council welcomes the May 26, 2011 letter to President Obama, urging him to “move quickly to notify Congress of the sale of 66 F-16C/D aircraft that Taiwan needs in order to modernize its air force.” The letter came from Senators Robert Menendez and James Inhofe, joined by 43 of their U.S. Senate colleagues.
The letter notes that ”successive reports issued by U.S. and Taiwanese defense authorities clearly outline the direct threat faced by Taiwan as a result of China’s unprecedented military buildup,” and that “military experts in both Taiwan and the United States have raised concerns that Taiwan is losing the qualitative advantage in defensive arms that has long served as its primary military deterrent against China.” The letter goes on to say that “without new fighter aircraft and upgrades to its existing fleet of F-16s, Taiwan will be dangerously exposed to Chinese military threats, aggression and provocation, which pose significant national security implications for the United States.”
Commenting on the letter, Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers said, “The Obama Administration has just hosted PLA Chief of Staff Chen Bingde, who made several unsubstantiated claims concerning Taiwan during his visit – including that some on Capitol Hill are considering reviewing the need for the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). Senators Menendez and Inhofe and their 43 Senate colleagues are clearly and concisely responding to General Chen’s claims. The United States Congress remains firmly in support of the Taiwan Relations Act, and of its requirement to provide Taiwan with arms to provide for its own self-defense.”