China is imposing sanctions on two U.S. defense contractors over a pending $100 million arms sale to Taiwan announced earlier this month.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters on Monday that Beijing will sanction Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin, saying the companies are “military industrial enterprises that have long participated in the U.S.’ arms sales to China’s Taiwan region.”
“China once again urges the US government and relevant sides to abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués, and stop arms sales to and military ties with Taiwan,” Wenbin said.
“China will continue to take all necessary measures to resolutely uphold its sovereignty and security interests in light of the evolving situation,” he added.
The State Department notified Congress of the weapons sale earlier this month. It was requested by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the U.S., Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington. TECRO asked for support to sustain and improve its U.S.-made Patriot Air Defense System.
Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are listed as prime contractors for the agreement.
Asked about the sanctions, Lockheed told The Hill “Foreign Military Sales are government-to-government transactions, and we work closely with the U.S. government on any military sales to international customers.”
The U.S. takes a position of strategic ambiguity when it comes to Taiwan. It formally recognizes Taiwan as part of China, but still maintains unofficial ties with the island and commits to ensuring it can defend itself.
China sees Taiwan as its own territory and has recently increased pressure on the island.
Wenbin said on Monday that the deal “seriously violate the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués,” adding that it “gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, and severely harm China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
“China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this,” he added.
This isn’t the first time Beijing has sanctioned U.S.-based defense contractors over weapons sales to Taiwan.
Most recently, Beijing sanctioned Lockheed Martin and Raytheon as well as Boeing Defense and other contractors in October 2020 due to such transactions. It wasn’t clear, however, how those sanctions were imposed.
The Hill has reached out to Raytheon for comment.
Updated at 9:28 a.m.
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