Taiwan asks US for new fighter jets over ‘increasing Chinese threats’

Taiwan has made a formal request to the US for new fighter jets to defend itself against increasing Chinese threats, Deputy Defense Minister Shen Yi-ming said on Thursday. “China has been increasing its military strength and we are starting to have an imbalance of power in our air defense capabilities,” Shen added. The request, if granted, could ramp up tensions between China and the US. The island currently has 326 fighter jets, all in service since the 1990s, including US-made F-16s, French Mirage 2000s and Taiwan’s own indigenous fighters (IDF), AFP said. Defense officials did not confirm how many fighter jets they have asked for in the purchase request, or what model, but local media Apple Daily reported Taiwan was seeking 66 F-16V at a cost of $13 billion including missiles, logistics and training.