China to sanction three US firms over US$1.8bn Taiwan arms deal that included missiles that can strike mainland: Boeing Defence, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon targeted

Laura Zhou
·2-min read

China is to impose sanctions against American companies and individuals involved in Washington’s latest arms sales to self-ruled Taiwan, its foreign ministry said on Monday.

Three companies, including a subsidiary of Boeing, as well as individuals and entities that “played a bad role” in the deal would be punished, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, told a daily press conference on Monday.

“In order to safeguard national interests, China decided to impose sanctions on the American companies that were involved in arms sales to Taiwan,” Zhao told a regular news briefing.

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The sanctions were announced days after the US approved US$1.8 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a breakaway province to be reunited by force if necessary.

Some observers said the arms package was the first meaningful sale of offensive weapons to the island since the US switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979.

The deal includes 135 Boeing AGM-84H cruise missiles – which are capable of hitting targets in mainland China – as well as 11 Lockheed Martin M142 rocket launchers and surveillance and reconnaissance sensors from Raytheon Technologies, according to the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency.

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On Monday Zhao singled out Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies and Boeing Defence but did not provide further details of the sanctions.

He also did not say anything about the Boeing parent company, which has significant business interests in mainland China.

A US-made Taiwanese F-16V fighter jet fires a flare during an anti-landing combat operation drill in Taichung, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Taiwan Ministry of Defence via EPA-EFE
A US-made Taiwanese F-16V fighter jet fires a flare during an anti-landing combat operation drill in Taichung, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Taiwan Ministry of Defence via EPA-EFE

Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have heightened this year as Beijing ramped up its military manoeuvres after the Trump administration stepped up its military and economic ties with Taiwan, whose armed forces are dwarfed by the mainland’s.

China has staged dozens of military exercises off its southeastern coast, sending fighter jets and warships into the Taiwan Strait and staging island encirclement and invasion drills.

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Recently the PLA deployed its most advanced hypersonic missile, the DF-17, to missile bases on its southeastern coast.

Beijing routinely denounces any arms sales to Taiwan and has already said it would sanction Lockheed Martin over its role in a US$620 million deal in July.

However, the world’s largest defence contractor does virtually no business with mainland China.

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