A Romney administration may consider providing more advanced weapons to Taiwan to maintain strong US military capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region, a senior foreign policy adviser to the Republican presidential candidate said on Tuesday.
"When President Obama refused to sell F-16C/D (jet fighters) to Taiwan, Governor Romney was very clear to state that he disagrees with that decision," Richard Williamson said at a foreign policy panel hosted by the International Republican Institute on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.
The 63-year-old Williamson has served on foreign affairs for three Republican presidents. Currently, he is a partner at a Chicago-based law firm.
Williamson also serves as vice-chairman of the International Republican Institute, of which Senator John McCain is the chairman.
Mitt Romney's China policy statement says the Department of Defense under his administration should "reconsider recent decisions not to sell top-of-the-line equipment to our closest Asian allies. We should be coordinating with Taiwan to determine its military needs and supplying them with adequate aircraft and other military platforms".
In the 2012 Republican policy platform released on Tuesday, which is similar to the previous one regarding foreign policy, the party supports both sides of the Taiwan Straits to solve the question peacefully, and praises the steps taken to reduce tension and strengthen economic ties.
Last fall, despite several requests from Taipei and pressure from Congress, the Obama administration again refused sales of the advanced F-16 C/D fighter jets requested by Taiwan, but sold a $5.85 billion arms package, including fitting 145 of Taiwan's F-16A/B fighter jets with advanced radar and weapons, a five-year extension of F-16 pilot training at Luke Air Force Base, and aircraft spare parts.