US plays down China sanctions
WASHINGTON, Oct 29: A US official on Wednesday played down China's threats to punish US companies for selling arms to Taiwan, saying that Beijing, not Washington, was jeopardizing regional stability.
China said Monday it would impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin and a defense division of Boeing that are part of a new sale of missiles to Taiwan worth nearly $2 billion.
"It is not the first time that Beijing has threatened sanctions upon US companies," said R. Clarke Cooper, the top State Department official in charge of arms sales.
"There have been threats and there have been provocations about that," he told a small group of reporters when asked about Chinese sanctions.
The United States is obligated under domestic law to provide weapons for self-defence to Taiwan, a self-ruling democracy that is claimed by Beijing.
China in recent months has entered Taiwan's air defence zone with growing frequency, while propaganda films have shown simulated attacks. -AFP