Washington: There will be hell to pay on Capitol Hill if the White House decides against selling F-16 fighters to Taiwan, the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said today.
The small Asian nation off the coast of China is looking to buy over 60 F-16 fighters to revamp its aging Air Force.
A potential F-16 deal with Taiwan “is a sale that we should make,” Rep. Adam Smith said today said during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Smith did not detail what actions lawmakers may take if the sale is scrubbed, adding that administration officials are still debating the pros and cons of the deal.
Backers of the fighter sale have argued it complies with the Taiwan Relations Act, which allows the U.S. to provide weapons to the island state, as long as they are used defensively and do not substantially change the region’s balance of power.