Biden administration approves potential $180 million sale of anti-tank systems to Taiwan

The Biden administration has approved a potential sale of the Volcano anti-tank munitions deployment system to Taiwan for an estimated $180 million, the State Department announced Dec. 28.

The potential sale comes amid growing tensions between communist Beijing and liberal democratic Taiwan.

according to statement The Biden administration Wednesday notified Congress of its approval of potential arms sales and other related equipment, in accordance with U.S. law.

“This proposed sale will serve the national, economic and security interests of the United States by supporting the recipient’s continued efforts to modernize its armed forces and maintain a credible defense capability. “The proposed sale will improve the security of the recipient and help maintain political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.”

Separately statement.

Epoch Times photo
(LR) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) poses for a photo with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Taiwan, August 3, 2022. (Handout/Getty Images)

A system that enhances Taiwan’s “asymmetric warfare capability”

The sale also includes M977A4 HEMTT 10-ton freight trucks with Volcano systems, M87A1 anti-tank (AT) munitions, M88 canister training munitions, M89 training munitions, and related logistical support and technical assistance, according to the Department of Defense. will be support.

The equipment will help greatly enhance Taiwan’s “asymmetric warfare capabilities,” the statement said.

Tensions between communist China and US ally Taiwan soared this year, exacerbated by the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) in August.

Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own, said at the time that it strongly opposed Ms Pelosi’s visit and any other government or international organization’s ties with Taiwanese officials.

Shortly after Pelosi returned to the United States, Beijing stepped up its military operations near Taiwan, launching live-fire exercises and 11 ballistic missiles into the waters surrounding the island.

Tensions rose again on Dec. 26 when the Chinese Communist Party sent 71 planes and seven ships around the island in a 24-hour period, shortly after President Joe Biden took office on Dec. 23. signed The National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 included funding and assistance to Taiwan.

Earlier in September, the administration approved more than $1.1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan. It marks the largest sales package since Biden took office.

President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Taiwan, December 27, 2022. (Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images)

Taiwan extends mandatory military service

On December 27, President Tsai Ing-wen announced that Taiwan would extend its mandatory military service from four months to one year in 2024 to boost military preparations against an attack from Beijing.

“As long as Taiwan is strong enough, it will never become a home and a battlefield for democracy and freedom around the world,” Tsai said at a press conference.

“As the chief military officer, it is my unavoidable duty to protect national interests and our democratic way of life,” Tsai said. “Nobody wants war. Taiwan and its people are the same, and so is the international community,” she said, referring to the Chinese Communist regime’s stepped up military offensive in recent months. .

The White House welcomed the new conscription reforms, which apply to men born after 2005, and said they would “underscore Taiwan’s commitment to self-defense and strengthen deterrence.”

In a statement to CNN, a White House spokesperson also reiterated U.S. support for Taiwan, stating that the Biden administration is “in line with our commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act to maintain adequate self-defense capabilities. will continue to support the nation,” he said. -Chinese policy.

“The United States continues to support the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues and opposes unilateral changes to the status quo,” the spokesman added.

Katavera Roberts

Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on US, world and business news.