Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement today in response to recent reports the Obama Administration has decided to not sell new F-16 fighter jets to the government of Taiwan, and instead will only provide upgrades to current equipment.
"I welcome the reports that the President has decided to upgrade Taiwan's existing F-16 fleet, but I'm deeply concerned that this is only a half-measure. Everyone, including this Administration, acknowledges that the military balance across the Straits has tilted far too heavily toward China.
"Taiwan needs more-advanced fighter aircraft to adequately defend itself against the continued and increasing Chinese military threat. I hope that this decision is only the first step. The United States must sell additional fighter aircraft to Taipei, whether F-16's or better, and soon.
"Until Beijing renounces any use of force as a means of reunification, and agrees to respect the wishes of all the people of Taiwan, the United States must continue to support fully Taiwan's security."