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The lack of new F-16s in the arms deal “calls into question the administration’s commitment to longstanding policy to ensure that Taiwan is able to defend itself from mainland China,” Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen said.

Initial reaction from China, which opposes all U.S. arms sales, included comments from retired Adm. Yang Yi, who was quoted in the official People’s Daily as saying: “This U.S. arms sale to Taiwan is lying to and making a fool of the Chinese people.”

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said the sale will harm China’s core interests and damage U.S.-China military and security cooperation.

The Pentagon estimates the weapons and upgrades are worth $5.3 billion. A separate $500 million defense sale for Taiwan includes pilot training, equipment and logistical support, bringing the total package to $5.8 billion.

Pentagon consultant Michael Pillsbury told Reuters that the arms sale might lead Chinese leaders’ into believing the retrofit package might provide more power than new C/Ds.

“Their propensity to miscalculate us - what they call the ‘hegemon’ - is astonishing,” Mr. Pillsbury said. “From Beijing’s point of view, the F-16 game is not over yet.”