Regarding the media coverage of “USA Bullies Taiwan by Forcing the Latter to Buy Weapons of Exorbitant Prices Without Any Complaints” by China Times, the Air Force Command Headquarters has solemnly provided the following explanations today (8th):
1. The current military strength of the cross-strait is on the decline; as the combat capability of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force continues to strengthen, each type of main fighter aircrafts responsible for the air defense missions in Taiwan has reached half way of their life span, where the critical stage of upgrading combat capability has already arrived. Since 2003 the Air Force has been cooperating with the overall national defense strategic conception, corresponding to the current enemy threats and combat requirements, and taking into account the difficulty of acquiring weapons in the international market in order to obtain operation procedure from military sales and has been proposing annual procurement proposal for advanced fighter aircrafts for more than 10 years, yet with no results all along. After the Trump government took office, friendly policies including “Taiwan Travel Act” and “National Defense Authorization Act” have passed successively, and on this occasion of a solid relationship between Taiwan and the United States of America, the procurement of advanced fighter aircrafts proposed multiple times to the United States of America by the Air Force Command Headquarters that took years of effort and active communication finally received initial progress; speculations regarding the consideration factors such as “political reasons” and “campaign bundle” as well as cover ages including “sudden emergence” and “short and sloppy decision-making process” are all misinterpretation.
2. Regarding China Times’ coverage on the Air Force including “Purchasing Weapons with Exorbitant Prices”, “Depleted Equipment”, and “Incompatible with the Requirements of the Advanced Fighter Aircrafts of the Air Force”, the Air Force Command Headquarters hereby solemnly clarify once again that the next generation of advanced fighter aircrafts must be compatible with the combat requirements of the Republic of China Air Force. Both the advanced F-16V and F-35 fighter aircrafts are compatible with the combat requirements of the Air Force as of now, though factors including “military procurement price”, “course of obtaining”, “logistics maintenance”, and “overall national finance” need to be comprehensive considered in order to achieve the final procurement targets of “formation of instant combat capability” and “optimal cost-effectiveness”.
3. Air defense is an important aspect of natural security, and China Times attempted to mislead the people through slandering for no reason, neglected the requirements of air defense all along, and obliterated the professional establishment planning and the results of weapon procurement that took significant effort, which was an unfair gesture that created profound damages to the future development of the Air Force, and was clearly an attempt to weaken the natural defense of Taiwan and crush the military morale. The Air Force Command Headquarters hereby solemnly express its position, and request all civilians to support the establishment of the Armed Forces based on the current enemy threats and the requirements of national security in order for the solid and reliable national defense combat capability to guard our home together as well as protect our freedom and democracy.