U.S. still evaluating Taiwan's other weapon requests: official
The U.S. government is "faithfully implementing" the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and will continue to evaluate two other pending arms sales to Taiwan, a U.S. State Department official said Monday.
The official from the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was referring to Taiwan's requests to procure diesel-electric submarines and Black Hawk helicopters from the United States.
"Our internal foreign military sales process is continuing. We have turned down nothing," the official told the Central News Agency.
The Bush administration notified Congress Oct. 3 that it had approved sales to Taiwan of 330 Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles, 32 sub-launched Harpoon Block II missiles, 30 AH-64D Block III Apache Longbow attack helicopters, 182 Javelin guided anti-tank missile rounds and 20 Javelin command launch units, and system upgrades for four E-2T aircraft. However, two other items under review - diesel-electric submarines and Black Hawk helicopters - were not included on the list.
Asked why the notifications were only sent to Congress on the final day of the congressional session before a scheduled adjournment, the official said Washington's decisions on foreign military sales to Taiwan "are not controlled by a timetable. We only recently finished our consultations and arrived at this decision on those items," he said.
Washington makes decision regarding weapons sales to Taiwan based on the defense needs of Taiwan and the TRA under which the United States makes available items for Taiwan's self-defense, the official added.
On the Bush administration's position toward Taiwan's request for F-16C/D fighters, the official said "we do not comment on potential weapons systems in the foreign military sales program."