Taipei: Taiwan`s top envoy to the US
said on Sunday that Washington is still considering whether to
sell submarines and F-16 fighter jets to the island,
threatening to further fuel a row with China.
The remarks by Jason Yuan, the island`s de facto
ambassador to Washington, came after the United States on
Friday unveiled a 6.4-billion-dollar arms package for Taiwan
to help counter China`s rapidly growing military.
The weapons already agreed include Patriot missiles,
Black Hawk helicopters, and communications equipment for
Taiwan`s F-16 fleet but did not include the submarines and new
fighter aircraft that Taipei had asked for.
While analysts have said they doubt Washington would risk
angering Beijing by approving the more sensitive items, Yuan
said the US had never ruled out selling the island submarines
"The US government is expected to complete its evaluation
report on Taiwan`s military strength in a week or two," Yuan
said in a
dispatch from Washington.
"Until then it will be considering the issues, like the
type of aircraft and the design of the submarines."
Beijing reacted angrily to the arms deal unveiled on
Friday, saying it was cutting military and security contact
with the United States.
First Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010, 18:03