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PacNet #4 – Beijing’s Hard Line against US Arms Sales to Taiwan

On Jan. 29, the Obama administration announced plans to sell Taiwan approximately $6.4 billion worth of arms. This rounds out much of the pending package the Bush administration did not act on when it sent the last notification of approximately the same value to Congress in October 2008. The new package includes 114 PAC-3 anti-missile missiles ($2.8 billion), 60 heavy-lift Black Hawk helicopters ($3.1 billion), some communications equipment and other systems. It still leaves unaddressed Taipei’s long-standing request for a submarine feasibility study as well as the question of F-16 C/D fighter aircraft to replace aging planes in Taiwan’s Air Force. The United States has not yet accepted a letter of request for the aircraft, but an internal US study of the island’s needs is under way.