US to Sell Taiwan Anti-Tank System Amid Rising China Threat.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department has granted approval to sell an anti-tank mine-laying device to Taiwan due to the increasing security threat from China.
The department announced on Wednesday that the Volcano system, as well as the associated equipment could cost approximately $180 million.
It can scatter anti-personnel and anti tank mines from a ground vehicle or helicopter. It’s the kind of weapon that some experts think Taiwan requires more of in order to deter or ward off the possibility of a Chinese invasion.
To make the case for this danger, the Chinese military launched seven ships and 71 planes towards Taiwan during a 24-hour show of force directed towards the self-governed island it claims to be its own territory, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said Monday.
China’s military repression of Taiwan has increased in recent years, coupled with statements from the top officials that Taiwan is forced to accept eventual Chinese rule.
This has seen the communist party’s powerful military wing, known as the People’s Liberation Army, send ships or planes towards the Island on a regular basis.
US to sell Taiwan anti-tank system amid rising threat from China https://t.co/WQSslnmTvl
— Irish Examiner (@irishexaminer) December 29, 2022
In the period between the hours of 6am on Sunday, and at 6 a.m. Monday at which time 47 Chinese aircrafts were seen crossing the median Taiwan Strait, an unofficial boundary that was previously accepted as tacitly acceptable between the two sides as per officials from the Defense Ministry.
It came after China expressed displeasure over the Taiwan-related provisions included in the U.S. annual defense spending bill, which has since become a typical Chinese procedure.
China has conducted massive live-fire military exercises in the month of August in reaction to the U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. Beijing considers visits by foreign governments visiting Taiwan as a de facto acknowledgement of Taiwan as a sovereign state and is a threat to China’s claims to sovereignty.
Although Washington does not have official relations with Taiwan as a gesture of respect to Beijing, the two countries have strong defense exchanges as well as military sales.
In its announcement that was made, it was stated that the State Department said the Volcano sale “serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability.”
It stated that Taiwan could find “no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces,” and added that the transfer will “not alter the basic military balance in the region.”
Analysts disagree on the priorities Taiwan’s defense needs to be Some are advocating for expensive items such as advanced fighter aircraft.
Others advocate for an even more flexible force heavy-armed by land-based weapons systems that can strike at enemy aircrafts, ships as well as landing craft. China’s massive advantage in numerical numbers of equipment and personnel gives Taiwan no choice but to choose that “asymmetric” approach, they claim.