It looks like Obama thought better of selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. Last night, The Washington Times reported that the administration had approved a $4.2 billion arms deal that will upgrade the country's existing fighter jets but "decided against selling Taiwan 66 advanced F-16 C/D model aircraft, despite several requests from Taipei and Congress." Today, Bloomberg News followed up the Times report by noting a sternly-worded briefing with Beijing's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman who stated the obvious: "China is opposed to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan." The conservative D.C. newspaper reported that the development would be a disappointment for U.S. lawmakers looking to bolster Taiwan's defenses:
A senior administration official said the decision not to sell new F-16s is a setback for officials in the administration who are concerned about Taiwan’s declining defenses. The opposition to selling the new jets came mainly from within the State Department, the official said.