Senators Push F-16 Sale to Taiwan

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) recently introduced legislation that would require the Obama Administration to sell 66 new F-16C/D fighters to Taiwan—a move that is sure to anger China. “This sale is a win-win in strengthening the national security of our friend Taiwan as well as our own, and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the US,” wrote Cornyn in a joint statement with Menendez Monday. “Saying ‘no’ here would mean granting communist China substantial sway over American foreign policy, putting us on a very slippery slope.” The arms sale continues to gain bipartisan support in Congress. In August, a bipartisan group of House members penned a letter to Obama calling on him to approve the deal. Forty-five Senators sent a similar letter to the President in May. Obama is expected to announce his decision by Oct. 1. Reuters reported that the Administration is more likely to agree to upgrade some of Taiwan’s existing F-16A/B aircraft. (See also No Fighting Falcons for Taiwan.)