Taiwan may seek US-made F-35 stealth jet Taiwan will likely seek state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets from the US, a top official was quoted as saying Monday, amid fears on the island that Washington may refuse to sell it F-16 jets. "In the future Taiwan will need F-35s", Deputy Defence Minister Andrew Yang said during a visit to the United States, according to the state-owned Central News Agency. Yang, who is attending a two-day Taiwan-US defence industry conference, said Taiwan would need the F-35s -- a fifth-generation multirole fighter with advanced stealth capabilities -- no matter the outcome of the F-16 deal. Asked to comment on the report, Taiwan's defence ministry spokesman David Lo reiterated Taiwan's long-stated wish that the United States provide it with sufficient defence weapons. The conference is an annual event aimed at addressing the future of Taiwan's defence cooperation with the United States, the defence procurement process, and the island's defence and national security needs. The visit comes with Washington expected to announce its decision soon on the sale of new F-16s to the island. There were renewed calls for the US to help Taipei update its fleet last week after two Vietnam War-era jets crashed, killing all three pilots. A US congressional source said Friday that Washington has decided not to sell Taiwan F-16 C/D, the improved version of F-16 A/B now serving the Taiwanese air force, for fear of upsetting Beijing. But the source said Washington will help Taipei upgrade its 146 US-made F-16 A/Bs to the F-16 C/D levels. Taipei applied in 2007 to buy 66 F-16 C/D fighters, which have better radars and more powerful weapon systems, in response to China's growing military muscle. Washington recognises Beijing rather than Taipei but remains a leading arms supplier to the island. Ties between China and Taiwan have improved since Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008 on promises of ramping up trade links and allowing in more Chinese tourists. But Beijing has refused to renounce the use of force against Taiwan even though the island has ruled itself for more than six decades since their split in 1949 at the end of a civil war.