CNN reports, "The State Department has approved a possible deal with Taiwan to renew a $500 million training program in the US for Taiwanese F-16 pilots and maintenance crews. The proposed sale is bound to irritate Beijing, which has long protested US arms sales to Taiwan. 'Today's notification is consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act and our support for Taiwan's ability to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,' a US State Department official told CNN. The training program is based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and goes back several years. The $500 million package covers the costs associated with the program including flight training, participation in approved training exercises, training munitions, supply and maintenance support, and spare and repair parts. The proposed sale is unrelated to Taiwan's reported plans to purchase new F-16 fighter jets from the US, according to the State Department official."
Reuters reports, "China would likely lift a ban on U.S. poultry as part of a trade deal and may buy more pork to meet a growing supply deficit, but it is not willing to allow a prohibited growth drug used in roughly half the U.S. hog herd, two sources with knowledge of the negotiations said. The United States and China are trying to hammer out a deal to end a months-long trade war that has cost the world's two largest economies billions and roiled global financial markets and supply chains. U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is pressing Beijing to address concerns over Chinese practices on intellectual property rights, forced technology transfer and industrial subsidies. Washington is also pushing for greater market access for agricultural products by seeking to reduce tariffs, lift bans and overhaul regulatory processes."
Bloomberg reports, "Billionaire Terry Gou's possible entry into Taiwan's presidential race illustrates the dilemma facing the island's leader, Tsai Ing-wen, as she prepares for an uphill re-election bid. On one side, Tsai must contend with a resurgent Kuomintang, advocating closer ties with China and eager to regain power after three years in the opposition. On the other, she's battling a nomination fight within her own Democratic Progressive Party, where her pro-independence base is pushing for a cleaner break from the mainland. Gou's potential challenge, which the Foxconn Technology Group founder said Tuesday he was considering, represents the broader problem for Tsai. A series of tough policy fights and an isolation campaign by China have pushed support for her reelection into the teens in some public opinion surveys and encouraged several would-be contenders from among the more China-friendly 'pan-blue' camp."