China sanctions US defence firms over Taiwan arms sales
In the latest embargo against US companies, China on Thursday imposed trade and investment sanctions on two American defence manufacturers for supplying weapons to Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its territory.
The sanctions against Lockheed Martin and a unit of Raytheon Technologies come after China pledged to take countermeasures against Washington in response to its handling of an alleged surveillance balloon that entered the US airspace and was eventually shot down on February 4.
Lockheed manufactures the F-22 Raptor fighter, the model used for downing the balloon. Raytheon is involved in the making of the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, which was also used in the mission.
China’s commerce ministry has put Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missile and Defence Corporation on an “unreliable entities list”. The two are banned from “engaging in import and export activities related to China”.
Additionally, Beijing has prohibited the companies from further investment in China, barred senior management from entering the country, cancelled residence permits for any staff in China, and even imposed fines which it said must be paid within 15 days. It, however, isn’t clear how Beijing would enforce such penalties.
The sanctions come days after the US restricted six Chinese companies tied to the Chinese army’s aerospace program, including Beijing Nanjiang Aerospace Technology, and China Electronics Technology Group Corporation 48th Research Institute, from obtaining US technology.
In addition to the recent development, China has imposed sanctions on Lockheed and Raytheon on at least two previous occasions.
The US is bound by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act to provide the island nation with the means to defend itself. Nevertheless, such sales are always known for drawing flak from China.