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Taiwan declines to comment on report of U.S. sale of frigates

2012/04/22 23:12:42

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) The Republic of China Navy declined Sunday to comment on a report in local media that the United States will sell Taiwan four frigates to help rejuvenate the country's aging fleet.

The Chinese-language United Daily News reported that the U.S. is to sell Taiwan four Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates to help replace its Knox-class frigates, which have been in service for some 40 years.

Navy officials, however, told CNA that they "would not comment on arms sales" upon being asked to confirm or deny the report.

Earlier in the week, citing a Taiwanese defense industry source, U.S. weekly newspaper Defense News reported that Taiwan might seek to purchase just two of the frigates from the U.S. instead of four as originally planned, because of cost and technical considerations.

In response to the Defense News report, military sources said that Taiwan has not changed its plans, adding that it was the U.S. side that offered to sell the two ships.

The two sides are still negotiating the details of the sale, they said.

(By Chen Pei-huang, Tony Liao and Elaine Hou)