US to consider sales of new F-16s to Taiwan

AP News
Posted: Apr 27, 2012 7:05 PM
US to consider sales of new F-16s to Taiwan

A Republican senator has lifted his hold on the appointment of a former Obama aide to a top Pentagon position after the administration said it would consider sales of new fighter jets to Taiwan.

Mark Lippert was confirmed Thursday as assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs after Sen. John Cornyn lifted his opposition.

Cornyn's office released a letter Friday from the White House legislative director saying the administration would decide "on a near-term course of action on how to address Taiwan's fighter gap, including through the sale to Taiwan of an undetermined number of new U.S.-made fighter aircraft."

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The administration agreed in September to upgrades of Taiwan's existing fleet but deferred a decision on selling new planes, which would anger China.