What you need to know
A daily breakdown of Taiwan's top stories and why they matter.
Taiwan’s Air Force confirmed on Wednesday that it plans to purchase a fleet of new fighter jets from the United States, responding to a report by Apple Daily earlier in the day.
Apple Daily reported that Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) made a request on Feb. 27 to buy 66 F-16V fighter jets, along with missiles, logistics and training, at a cost of US$13 billion (NT$401 billion).
Taiwan’s Air Force confirmed that it made a request to the U.S. but declined to comment on the model of planes it was hoping to buy and said the budget remained open to negotiation.
Taiwan is in the process of upgrading 144 F-16 A/B jets to F-16V jets as part of a plan which began in 2016. It received its first upgraded F-16V fighter jet in October 2018.
It remains unclear whether the U.S. will approve such a large sale of military aircraft. Taiwan’s Air Force noted that it is unsure which model aircraft the U.S. will decide to sell Taiwan.
Other news from Taiwan:
► Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) will formally announce his candidacy this morning. His entry into the campaign has been heavily speculated for months. (Apple Daily)
► Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) will speak on Taiwan’s role in the Asia-Pacific region at a luncheon in Los Angeles on March 11. (CNA)
► Taiwan’s National Communications Commission says infrastructure produced abroad will be subject to security checks in a measure chiefly targeting Chinese equipment. (Taipei Times)
► The Taiwan Gazette is translating stories of victims of the 228 Massacre, originally published in Chinese in The Reporter. The latest is a haunting and essential read. (Taiwan Gazette)
► A worthy breakdown of what opinion polls tell us about the people of Taiwan – their cross-Strait stance, their disapproval of Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and their lack of desire to declare independence. (National Interest)
Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)
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