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US approves anti-tank mine-laying system for Taiwan amid rising tensions with China

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The US has approved the sale of an anti-tank mine-laying system to Taiwan amid the rising military threat from China.

On Wednesday, the US State Department approved the sale of the $180million (£150million) volcano system.

The system is capable of scattering anti-tank mines either via a ground vehicle or helicopter.

The deal comes after China once again conducted military drills in the vicinity of Taiwan.

According to Taiwan’s Defence ministry, 71 planes and seven ships conducted drills near the self-ruled island over a period of 24 hours on Monday.

Of the 71 planes, 41 crossed the Taiwan Strait, the de-facto boundary between the two states.

“This is a firm response to the current US-Taiwan escalation and provocation,” said Shi Yi, the spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army’s  Eastern Theater Command,

China also conducted large-scale live-fire military exercises in August in response to US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Taiwan has also extended its mandatory military service from four months to one year amid escalating tensions with Beijing.