This Sale Is a Mirage

The Bush Administration's reluctance to offend Beijing may cost General Dynamics a bundle. Taiwan has been trying for 10 years to buy F-16 fighter- bombers, but the U.S. has refused, in order to avoid stirring up Beijing. Washington did compromise by allowing enough technology transfers and help from General Dynamics so that Taiwan could build an indigenous defense fighter (IDF) based on the F-16. But word out of Taipei is that the initials really stand for "It Don't Fly." Now that Beijing is buying Soviet-built Su-27 fighters, Taiwan is running out of patience. Diplomatic sources say Taipei has decided to buy...

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