BY TAL AXELROD

Taiwan formally signed a deal to buy F-16 jets from Lockheed Martin amid spiking tensions between Washington and Beijing. 

The purchase marks the first time since 1992 that advanced fighter jets have been sold to the island and is likely to spark reproach from China, which has repeatedly warned against selling advanced weaponry to an island it considers its own territory.

The sale, which the Pentagon announced Friday, was first floated a year ago and will be completed by late 2026. Ninety jets will potentially be sold as part of Friday’s announcement. 

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