China ‘to sanction’ US firms over Taiwan arms sale
Published : Monday, 26 October, 2020 at 11:06 PM Count : 257
China said Monday it would impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin, a Boeing defence division and other US firms involved in arms sales to Taiwan, the self-governed island that Beijing views as its territory.
The two US giants were involved in a recent sale of nearly $2 billion worth of missiles to Taiwan, alongside Raytheon, and foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian urged the US to stop arms sales to the island.
The status of Taiwan holds potential for conflict between the United States and China, during a wider struggle for technology, security and trade supremacy.
Beijing says Taiwan is an inviolable part of China to be reclaimed, by force if necessary.
Zhao said the sanctions were “to safeguard national interests” and would apply to those who have “behaved badly in the process of arms sales to Taiwan”.
“We will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and security interests,” said Zhao, without giving further details on the sanctions.
Under the administration of President Donald Trump the US has brought Taiwan into play as part of a wider diplomatic and economic squeeze of its rival, sending high-level envoys and boosting arms sales.
The State Department said last week it had approved the sale of 135 air-to-ground missiles, in a move welcomed by Taiwan.
Also approved was the sale of six MS-110 air reconnaissance pods and 11 M142 mobile light rocket launchers, taking the value of the three arms packages to $1.8 billion.