The White House this week approved a prospective sale of Volcano anti-tank weapons to Taiwan amid escalating tensions between the island’s government and Beijing.

The sale would include roughly $180 million worth of material to the Republic of China, according to the Epoch Times.

“This proposed 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,” read a White House statement. “The proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.”

The Republic of China governs the island of Taiwan, but formally claims to be the legitimate government of the mainland as well. The Taipei-based government previously governed most of modern China, but evacuated to the island in 1949 after losing the Chinese Civil War to Mao Zedong’s communist faction.

The Beijing-based People’s Republic of China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and deems the Taipei government a separatist entity. Both governments formally agree on the existence of a single, unified China that includes the territory of both regimes, though each claims to legitimately lead that entity.”

Beijing’s militaristic posturing towards the island democracy has escalated in recent years, sparking fears of an imminent invasion, which have received a more serious response from Washington in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. At least one Navy admiral has forecast a Chinese invasion in the forthcoming year.

Chinese aircraft on Christmas Eve forced Taiwan to scramble its fighters after nearing the island’s airspace. Taipei further plans to extend its conscription efforts in anticipation of a likely attack.

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