Washington According to congress officials, the US wants to sell Taiwan's F-16 jet fighters worth eight billion dollars (7.2 billion euros). The House Foreign Affairs Committee chair, Democrat Eliot Engel, and the panel's highest-ranking Republican, Michael McCaul, welcomed the proposed sale. They expressed confidence in a joint statement on Friday that they would find support across Congress across party lines. The move is likely to fuel tensions between the US and China.
The Washington Post reported that the US State Department had sent the plans to the Foreign Affairs Committees in the House and Senate on Thursday night. Engel and McCaul said, "As the People's Republic of China intensifies its military aggression in the region, we must do everything possible to support our friends around the world." Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Calling the planned sale of the jets "an important step in support of Taiwan's self-defense efforts".
China's communist leadership views the democratic island republic as part of the People's Republic, although Taiwan has never heard of it. Beijing is also threatened with a violent conquest. The US has committed to the defense capability of the island and have been delivering weapons for years. At present, relations between the US and China are particularly strained by the trade war between the two largest economies.
Just last month, the Pentagon had reported to Congress about the planned sale of approximately $ 2 billion in arms to Taiwan. These included 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles, machine guns and equipment. China protested.
More: US companies that delivered weapons to Taiwan could soon expect sanctions from China. Weapons in Taiwan would affect China's security.
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