The US State Department on Wednesday approved the sale of anti-tank systems to Taiwan for $180 million, the latest arms contract between the island and its main ally.

Taiwan will receive Vulcano anti-tank systems, trucks, ammunition and even logistical support items, according to a statement from the Pentagon.

The statement said the deal “serves the national, economic, and security interests of the United States by supporting Taiwan’s continued efforts to modernize its armed forces and maintain a cohesive defense capability”.

The statement added that this deal won’t change the basic military balance of the region.

Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory and has become more threatening towards the island under Xi Jinping.

This year, China reacted angrily to visits by politicians, including Americans, to Taiwan, and organized major military exercises to protest the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August, leading to an escalation of tension unseen in years.

US President Joe Biden signed a defense spending bill last week providing for $10 billion in military aid to Taiwan.

This text allows for the provision of up to two billion dollars in annual aid to Taiwan between 2023 and 2027.

Earlier, in response to the US House of Representatives’ adoption of the text, Beijing said it “firmly opposes the United States using the National Defense Authorization Act to take negative measures against China”.

The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said Monday that China deployed 71 fighters last weekend to conduct military exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan, in one of the largest daily violations of the airspace controlled by Taiwan.

Beijing’s military described the maneuvers as exercises conducted in response to unspecified provocations and collusion between the United States and the island.

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