Bush Administration Expected to Notify Congress of Taiwanese Arms Sale

The Bush administration is expected to notify Congress today that it wants approval to sell a major arms package to Taiwan, according to a congressional staffer. The package is expected to include seven weapons systems but not advanced F-16s.

The notification from the Pentagon and State Department would lift on on ban on the sale of the weapons imposed by the Bush administration before the summer Olympics in China.

The Bush Administration had initially approved arms sales to Taiwan in 2001, but had put off formally notifying Congress of the sale before August's politically sensitive Olympic games. The State Department announced a freeze in congressional notifications for arms sales in June, in hopes it would ease negotiations between Taiwan and Beijing on military maters.

Indications about whether or not a sale would be approved were unclear as late as July, when Admiral Timothy Keating, the head of the U.S. Pacific Command, said there is "no compelling need for at this moment arms sales to Taiwan of the systems that we're talking about," according to Reuters.

-Roxana Tiron, Michael O'Brien