Region of Concern: USA; Taiwan; China
Written By Cayla Lee; Edited by Claire Bracco
Date: December 29, 2022
Event: On December 29, the US approved Taiwan’s $180 million purchase of a Volcano system that allows ground vehicles to have anti-tank mine-laying technology. This will enable the Taiwanese military to deploy anti-tank and anti-personnel mines from their vehicles. Experts have claimed that Taiwan needs more of these general-use weapons to deter China from invading. This approval comes just days after the Chinese military sent 71 planes and seven ships toward the island The Chinese military continues to stage demonstrations on a near-daily basis.
Significance: China will very likely expand its efforts to intimidate Taiwan and the US by increasing its military operations in the region. The military will very likely stage operations designed to exhaust Taiwanese personnel and supplies. It is unlikely that China will confront Taiwan directly by invading the island as doing so will almost certainly have negative consequences in political, social, and economic sectors worldwide. The Chinese government and military will also likely introduce more intense air operations in Taiwan’s airspace to further its intimidation tactics. They will also likely upgrade their ground operations to better defend against Taiwan’s new vehicle-borne anti-tank systems by deploying technology that will likely detect mines and personnel. These escalations will very likely increase the US’ obligation to defend Taiwan against China’s rising threats, which will unlikely be well-received by Beijing.
Recommendations: Taiwan should continue its efforts of countering China’s military drills by purchasing advanced equipment and integrating the new with existing technology. The military should prioritize personnel training to ensure that operations can run smoothly without disruptions. The US should continue supporting Taiwan in these efforts to display its condemnation for China’s actions. It should continue providing technology for Taiwan to defend itself. US officials should also preserve economic relations with Beijing, as China is a major trading partner. The US and Taiwan should stress the importance of negotiations to resolve the conflict and consider UN involvement in these discussions.
 US to sell Taiwan anti-tank system amid rising China threat, AP News, December 2022, https://apnews.com/article/taiwan-politics-china-government-7fe16dcd4858c114280af3f632eff56a