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.


Credit: Reuters / TPG

Taiwan is seeking to upgrade its fleet of F-16 fighter jets.

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)

Read Next: 3 Reasons Why Taiwan Should Not Hold an Independence Referendum

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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