By Diane Alter

Taipei, Taiwan

In order to upgrade its F-16 fighter jets, Taiwan again defied China's concerns and claimed to have made progress on a multi-billion dollar arms deal with the United States.

In a statement, Taiwanese Air Force said that Washington had sent them a letter of answer with a list of items along with their prices. The Air Force ruled out rumors that the U.S. had increased the arms sales and its amount compared to what it had announced in September last year.

The Pentagon had signed a $5.85 billion arms deal with Taiwan last September to upgrade Taipei's F-16 A/B fleet.

Responding to the announcement, China summoned the US ambassador and told him that such a move would not only affect its relations with Taiwan but also with the world superpower.

Taiwan gained independence in 1949 after the end of a civil war, but China still considers it as its part and refuses to renounce use of force against the island nation.

However, the relations between the two nations improved sincerely since 2008 when China-friendly Kuomintang party's Ma Ying-jeou came to power.


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Taiwan Defies China: Claims Progress Made on US Arms Deal | Global Viewpoint