Taiwan lawmaker expects disappointment on F-16s

September 12, 2011 - 1:25 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A close ally of Taiwan's president says he expects the U.S. will agree only to upgrade the island's existing fleet of F-16 fighter jets and not sell it new ones.

Visiting deputy speaker of Taiwan's legislature Tseng Yung-Chuan told The Associated Press Monday that Taiwan has been grateful for American support for decades, but a decision against providing new planes would "not be satisfactory."

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou has improved ties with communist China, signing a historic trade pact last year. His political opponents charge he has moved too fast and subordinated the self-governing island's interests to those of Beijing.

By supplying the planes, the U.S. would anger Beijing. The Obama administration has said it will make its decision by Oct. 1.