China to Sanction U.S. Weapons Makers Over Taiwan Sales
According to a statement released by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, three American defense contractors will be sanctioned due to their role in proposed arms sales to Taiwan. The move is an attempt to retaliate against the US’s efforts to increase Taiwan’s security, a region that Beijing claims as its territory. The companies that will be sanctioned include Lockheed Martin, Boeing’s defense division, and Raytheon Technologies. These entities all played a large role in the planned $1.8 billion weapons package.
The weapons package includes the sale of missiles, rocket artillery, aerial reconnaissance sensors, and other military equipment to Taiwan and is an attempt to pressure China through closer defense ties with Taipei as well as to aid the island democracy in protecting themselves against China. The sanctions imposed on the US weapons dealers were portrayed as necessary to safeguard China’s national interests. China has been seeking to assimilate Taiwan with the Chinese mainland for years, ramping up patrols and drills around the island in 2020.