Taiwan issued a beefed up defense report that calls for the purchase of modern military equipment from the US, the Wall Street Journal reported. The quadrennial military review, released Monday, surprised observers by taking a much harder line than the more China-friendly drafts that have been circulating over the past few months. It is feared that the move will add a new, complicated twist to triangular relations between Taiwan, the US and mainland China. Under the plan, Taiwan will try to buy 66 F-16 C/D fighters from the US, which would better equip the island to handle China’s fleet of Russian-built aircraft. The fighters were excluded from a US$6.43 billion arms package the Bush administration agreed with Taipei last year. China responded to the deal by suspending military talks with the US, although they have since resumed. Taiwan also wants to buy US submarines, another item excluded from last year’s deal.
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