The French Connection

After nearly two decades, Taiwan's 1991 purchase of six French Lafayette-class stealth frigates has finally come back to haunt pretty much everyone involved in the deal. Both countries, plus the French defense contractor Thales and DCN, the government-owned naval manufacturer that built the frigates have been snared in the mess. A French court ruled last week that Thales and the French government must pay Taiwan as much as US$861 million for bribery charges and repayments for nonperformance.

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