The Ministry of Defence of Taiwan has refuted the news that the Taipei might lease F-15C/D Eagles fighter jets for the Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan Air Force) from the United States.
Taiwanese Major General Chen Chung-chi dismissed the lease proposal as “pure speculation by the media,” the Taipei Times reported Wednesday.
According to Major General Chen Chung-chi of the Taiwanese MoD, the story had first surfaced on a local news outlet named Up Media, but he claims that this is “pure speculation.”
The local news agency quoted that Washington was offering upgraded surplus USAF F-15s for use by the RoCAF. These Eagles could be upgraded to Advanced 2040C.
This news caused a sharp reaction because as tensions simmer between Washington and Beijing. US President Donald Trump has been willing to antagonize China with tariffs and the recent signing of the Taiwan Travel Act, but supplying Taipei with modern fighters jets is a boundary even Trump seems unwilling to cross.
Beijing has long considered Taipei a wayward province belonging to the People’s Republic of China, but the island is de facto self-governing for the better part of a century. Since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen assumed office in May 2016, Beijing-Taipei relations have deteriorated, the Diplomat reported.