Washington, DC– Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) today introduced legislation to require the Obama Administration to sell 66 new F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. The legislation is a House companion bill to Senators Cornyn and Menendez’ Taiwan Airpower Modernization Act of 2011. The legislation will force the Obama Administration to comply with its legal obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 which mandates the United States provide Taiwan with the military equipment it needs to defend its’ homeland.
“The sale of F-16s to Taiwan ensures our key strategic ally in the Pacific has the defense capacity to defend its own airspace,” Granger said. “Our support for a democratic Taiwan is consistent with our national security priorities in the region and demonstrates that we will continue to stand by our friends and allies no matter who or where the threats are from.”
“In the last year alone, Chinese defense spending increased 12.7 percent and they have been very public about their development of their 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft. We must support Taiwan’s effort to replace their aging aircraft. Simply allowing them to upgrade their existing fleet is not acceptable.”
On August 1, 181 bipartisan House members sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to approve the sale of F-16 aircraft to Taiwan. On September 16, Administration officials gave a briefing on Capitol Hill where they said there would be no new sales to Taiwan. However, no official announcement has been made from the White House.