"Taipei has plans to buy an F-35 modification with vertical takeoff to provide support to naval infantry operations," Jin Nian Jiancao said.
It said there were two main reasons Taipei wanted to buy F-35s.
"Firstly, the existing fleet of Taiwanese fighters can be easily destroyed with Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles deployed in mainland China," it said. "Secondly, F-35s will make Taiwan less dependent on airfields in the event of an armed conflict between the two coasts of the Taiwan Strait."
The fighter needs a runway of 300 meters or less to take off.
Washington has yet to react to Taipei's request. Observers attribute the U.S. silence to fears of a critical reaction from Beijing. The U.S. has stalled on the island's request for 66 less advanced F-16s.
Taiwan first expressed an interest in F-35s as early as 2006, according to Jane's Defence Weekly.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).