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Bush Announces Sale of F-16 Aircraft to Taiwan, 1992

Portion of President Bush's September 2 speech at the General Dynamics factory in Fort Worth, Texas.
September 2, 1992
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(Excerpts: Address at General Dynamics plant) (460) Fort Worth, Texas -- President Bush has announced the sale of 150 F-16 aircraft to Taiwan to "help maintain peace and stability in an area of great concern to us -- the Asia-Pacific region."

In a speech September 2 at the General Dynamics factory in Fort Worth that produces the aircraft, Bush noted that "after decades of confrontation, great strides have been made in reducing tensions between Taipei and Beijing."

Bush said the decision to sell the aircraft "does not change the commitment of this administration and its predecessors to the three communiques with the People's Republic of China." The highly sophisticated F-16 aircraft flew thousands of combat sorties in the Persian Gulf war.

Following are excerpts from Bush's address: (begin excerpts) I'm announcing this afternoon that I will authorize the sale to Taiwan of 150 F-16AB aircraft made right here in Fort Worth.

We're proud to do this and this F-16 is an example of what only America and Americans can do. And only American technology, only American skill could have produced this flawless piece of craftsmanship which is sought all around the world.

Throughout this century, the marvels of American defense have -- saved lives, kept the peace, and defended American values. And the world has seen the F-16 in action. Over the skies of Desert Storm the F-16 continued America's tradition of military excellence in more than 13,000 combat sorties. And at this very moment planes like these may well be flying over Iraq to guarantee that the bully of Baghdad -- Saddam Hussein -- will not brutalize his own people by striking at them from the sky.

This sale of F-16s to Taiwan will help maintain peace and stability in an area of great concern to us -- the Asia-Pacific region -- in conformity with our law. And in the last few years, after decades of confrontation, great strides have been made in reducing tensions between Taipei and Beijing.

And during this period, the United States has provided Taiwan with sufficient defensive capabilities to sustain the confidence it needs to reduce these tensions. And that same sense of security has underpinned Taiwan's dramatic evolution toward democracy.

And my decision today does not change the commitment of this administration and its predecessors to the three communiques with the People's Republic of China. We keep our word. Our One-China policy, our recognition of the PRC as the sole legitimate government of China. I've always stressed that the importance of the '82 communique on arms sales to Taiwan lies in its promotion of common political goals -- peace and stability in the area through mutual restraint.

Original source: http://www.fas.org/news/taiwan/1992/920903-taiwan-usia2.htm

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