Obama eyes sale of arms to Taiwan?

President Barak Obama has decided to approve the sale of upgrade kits for Taiwan’s F-16 jets, according to media reports. The proposed deal, estimated at US $4.2 billion, is opposed by China.

Congress will be briefed on the arms package on Friday while an official confirmation will follow soon, the Washington Times report says, citing White House sources.

The package, however, will not include the sale of advanced F-16C/D aircraft which Taiwan had requested.

The dispute over the sale of the weapons has remained unresolved for two years. Supporters of the deal say Taipei needs the arms to bolster its defenses against China’s growing military power.

However Beijing strongly objects to the proposed deal, and cut off negotiations with the Pentagon over it in when it was first announced in 2008, and then again in 2010.

Earlier the Obama administration promised to reconsider the issue before October 1.

Independent arms trade expert Barnaby Pace says he is thoroughly concerned that US private contracts may have an outsized impact on the global politics.

The decision is the product of US foreign policy and [Washington’s] relationship with China,” Pace told RT. “US domestic policy comes under a great influence by arms companies, from what can be broadly called the military-industrial complex in the US.