Beijing places sanctions on US arms companies over sales to Taiwan

China's foreign ministry spokesman said that the US arms companies' sale to Taiwan undermined China's security interests and China-US relations.

 Lockheed Martin's logo is seen during Japan Aerospace 2016 air show in Tokyo, Japan, October 12, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON/FILE PHOTO)
Lockheed Martin's logo is seen during Japan Aerospace 2016 air show in Tokyo, Japan, October 12, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON/FILE PHOTO)

China has placed US companies Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Technologies Corp under sanctions over US arms sales to Taiwan.

The sanctions are countermeasures against the two companies over a $100 million February 7 arms sale that "undermined China's security interests, seriously undermined China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular news briefing.

Beijing says that the self-ruled island of Taiwan is a breakaway province that must be reunified with the mainland.

"In accordance with the relevant stipulations in China's anti-foreign sanctions law, the Chinese government has decided to take countermeasures on the infringing acts of Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin," Wang said.

"Both are military enterprises that have long participated in US arms sales to China's Taiwan region."

 Veterans take part in a flag raising ceremony at a former military post on Kinmen, Taiwan, October 15, 2021. Sitting on the front line between Taiwan and China, Kinmen is the last place where the two engaged in major fighting, in 1958 at the height of the Cold War. (credit: REUTERS/ANN WANG) Veterans take part in a flag raising ceremony at a former military post on Kinmen, Taiwan, October 15, 2021. Sitting on the front line between Taiwan and China, Kinmen is the last place where the two engaged in major fighting, in 1958 at the height of the Cold War. (credit: REUTERS/ANN WANG)

No further details were given on the nature of the sanctions.

This is the first time the companies have faced sanctions under China's new anti-foreign sanctions law drawn up last year in response to US sanctions against Chinese companies.

On at least two previous occasions China has announced sanctions against Lockheed and Raytheon, in 2019 and 2020, though Beijing provided no further details.