Washington, U.S. lawmaker Michael McCaul said in an article published online Wednesday that he anticipates Congress will receive notification of the sale of dozens of F16V fighter aircraft to Taiwan very soon.
The Bureau of PoliticalMilitary Affairs under the U.S. State Department already announced a weapons package for Taiwan that includes M1A2T Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles, with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency informing Congress of its approval July 9.
However, the package does not include 66 F16V fighter jets that Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) sought to purchase in February.
House Representative Michael McCaul said in an article published Wednesday in the Diplomat, an online AsiaPacific currentaffairs magazine, that China's military forces are estimated at more than 2 million active duty personnel, compared to about 275,000 in Taiwan.
"To bridge the gap, the United States supports Taiwan's military with the same equipment utilized by our military, allies, and partners around the world. Taiwan's defense equipment should not be inferior to those of any possible opponent it may face," he wrote.
To that end, the Dallasborn representative wrote, "I anticipate notification on the sale of dozens of F16V fighter aircraft for Taiwan very soon, which I will strongly support."
The American people will not stand aside as China attempts to challenge the resolve of the freedomloving people of Taiwan who are a beacon of democracy that respects human rights and the rule of law, he said.
McCaul has been a vocal supporter of Taiwan and was one of the Congressmen who met with President Tsai Ingwen during her stopover in New York July 12.
Speaking to Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures July 14, the Texas Congressman said "Chinese are getting very aggressive in Hong Kong, as you just heard. They are also getting very aggressive in Taiwan."
"We're going to arm Taiwan, so she can defend herself from what's become a very aggressive Chinese Communist Party right on their doorstep," the Republican told host Maria Bartiromo.
In addition, McCaul sponsored the 2019 Taiwan Assurance Act which was passed unanimously May 7, recognizing that Taiwan is an important part of U.S. IndoPacific Strategy and urging the government to assist Taiwan in terms of regular arms sales and developing asymmetric warfare capabilities.
A U.S. government arms sale to Taiwan starts with a Letter of Request (LOR) from Taipei to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Should the Pentagon green light the request, it sends a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) to Taiwan detailing its offer.
Taipei then reviews the offer and completes a proposal for the procurement project before sending the LOA back to the U.S.
Various U.S. government branches then review the proposal before the administration notifies Congress of the sale and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency under the DOD makes the deal public.
The process is completed once both sides sign the LOA, according to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel