For Immediate Release
Washington DC – September 16, 2011
Contact: (202) 547-3686
Taiwanese-Americans Deeply Disappointed At U.S. Decision On F-16 Sale
Weakening Taiwan’s ability to defend itself and inviting more aggression from China
Taiwanese-Americans expressed deep disappointment at the reported decision of the Obama administration to only agree to an upgrade of the existing F-16 A/B fleet in Taiwan’s air force, but deny the sale of 66 new F-16 C/Ds.
Professor Bob Yang, President of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs commented: “It is regrettable that the Obama administration is letting the PRC set the terms for US relations with a democratic Taiwan. This severely undermines the safety and security of Taiwan, and is not in keeping with the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which specifically provides for the sale of defensive arms to Taiwan.”
Professor Yang added: “This decision simply means that if push comes to shove in the Taiwan Strait, the US will have to bear a much heavier burden in keeping China at bay, as Taiwan will simply not have adequate means to defend itself. It is well known that China has been engaging in a major military buildup, while aging F-5 aircraft in Taiwan’s air force are falling out of the sky. Such an imbalance invites aggression.”
Professor Yang concluded that the negative decision by the Obama administration on the F-16 C/Ds also reflects a major policy failure of the Nationalist Chinese Kuomintang government of President Ma Ying-jeou in Taipei. He said: “President Ma has gone through the motions of requesting the new F-16 C/Ds, but has not been serious about Taiwan’s defense, allowing the defense budget to wither and Taiwan’s capabilities to deteriorate.”
The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) is a Taiwanese-American grassroots organization with 54 chapters across the United States. It works with the US Congress in support of a free and democratic Taiwan.