US sells anti-tank systems to Taiwan amid tension with China
December 29, 2022
The systems, worth $180 million, "serve US national, economic and security interests," the Pentagon said. The sale comes after China conducted one of its largest incursions into Taiwan-controlled airspace to date.
The Pentagon said approval for the sale came late Wednesday and also includes Volcano anti-tank munition-laying systems, cargo trucks, ammunition and logistics support packages, among other services.
The Defense Department said the sale aims to serve "US national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient's continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability."
The new anti-tank system is capable of scattering both anti-tank and anti-personnel mines from a ground vehicle or helicopter.
China argues that the self-ruled island is part of its territory and warns that US support for Taiwan would destabilize the region.
When announcing the sale, the US stressed that it will improve Taiwan's capability to meet current and future threats, but that it would not "alter the basic military balance in the region."
Ties between Beijing and Taipei have been particularly tense since August when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. In retaliation for her visit, the Chinese military staged massive military exercises around the island.
Taiwan under increasing pressure from Chinese military: Ava Shen, Eurasia Group