2008: The U.S. has turned down a Taiwan
attempt to buy 66 late model F-16 fighters. These would have cost about $75
million each. The deal was strongly opposed by China, and the U.S. justified
its refusal to sell the jets by pointing out that a newly elected, more
pro-China government, in Taiwan, diminished the threat of a Chinese invasion.
It's also possible that the U.S. is rewarding China for help in negotiations
with North Korea over the North Korean nuclear weapons program. Then again,
whoever really knows, isn't talking.
Taiwan will upgrade its current fighter fleet. Taiwan has a world class
electronics industry, and can more easily import key electronics components, or