China has announced new trade and investment sanctions on Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, two of the largest U.S. defense contractors, over their involvement in arms sales to Taiwan. The sanctions were imposed by China’s commerce ministry, which added the companies to its “unreliable entities list” on Thursday.
The list is a tool that China uses to punish foreign firms that it deems to harm its national security or interests. As per sources by Economic times and AsiaNews, According to the ministry, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missile and Defense Corporation, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, are prohibited from “engaging in import and export activities related to China”.
The sanctions are the latest move by China to express its anger and displeasure over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing considers as a breakaway province that must be reunited with the mainland by force if necessary. China views any foreign support for Taiwan’s defense as interference in its internal affairs and a violation of its sovereignty.
The U.S., however, is bound by law to provide Taiwan with weapons for self-defense, as part of its commitment to help maintain peace and stability in the region. The U.S. has approved several arms sales packages to Taiwan in recent years, totaling billions of dollars, including tanks, missiles, fighter jets, drones, and radar systems.
The most recent deal, worth $1.1 billion, was announced last week by the U.S. State Department. It includes 40 Harpoon anti-ship missiles made by Boeing Defense and 135 air-launched cruise missiles made by Lockheed Martin.
China strongly condemned this deal and vowed to take countermeasures against the U.S. and the companies involved. It also warned Taiwan not to rely on foreign forces for security or seek independence from China.
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have not yet commented on China’s sanctions against them. It is unclear how much impact these sanctions will have on their businesses or operations in China or elsewhere.