Taiwan to enhance land and air capabilities with F-16V and M1 MBTs

“Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said her government has asked to purchase advanced new fighter jets and tanks from the U.S., a request that if approved, could set off new tensions between the U.S. and China, reported The Washington Post.

Beijing considers self-governing Taiwan part of China, to be annexed by force if necessary. Speaking during a visit to Hawaii on Wednesday, Tsai said requests have been submitted for F-16V fighters and M1 Abrams tanks.

The new weaponry would ‘greatly enhance our land and air capabilities, strengthen military morale, and show to the world the U.S. commitment to Taiwan’s defense,’ Tsai said. The U.S. is Taiwan’s main supplier of defensive weapons, despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties.

The F-16V is the most advanced version of the plane that already forms the backbone of Taiwan’s air forces, while the M1 Abrams would mark a significant upgrade from the aging, refurbished models the army now uses.”