Tsai’s comments came hours after the U.S. State Department approved the continuation of a pilot training programme along with maintenance and logistics support for F-16 aircraft at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.
The U.S. Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale on Monday.
“The announcement of the arm sales was timely.
Tsai noted that Chinese military planes circled Taiwan on Monday.
“China’s recent military moves, both in the air and sea, have undermined the stability of the Taiwan Strait and damaged the status quo,’’ Tsai told newsmen.
Tsai said the possible deal would ensure the quality of Taiwan’s air force.
Brent Christensen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taiwan, said the U.S. continued to assist Taipei with self-defence capabilities.
His comments came at the Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue, an international forum focusing on the 40-year-old Taiwan Relations Act.
“In February Taiwan asked the U.S. if it could buy a fleet of F-16 jets and hoped to get an answer in July,’’ state-run Central News Agency reported.
Taiwan has had its own government since 1949, when Chinese Nationalists fled there after losing a civil war to the Communists.