As tensions continue to mount between China and the US over Taiwan, Beijing has imposed sanctions on Lockheed Martin – the developers of stealth F-22 Raptors and F-35 jets, Boeing Defense, Raytheon as well as individuals and entities that are involved in arms sales to the island of Taiwan.
China decided Monday to sanction those firms including @LockheedMartin, @BoeingDefense, @Raytheon, as well as individuals and entities that are involved in arms sale to the island of Taiwan: FM pic.twitter.com/JjGBGDZTvH
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) October 26, 2020
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a routine press conference on Monday that the sanctions were in response to recently approved US arms sales to Taiwan on October 21, worth $1.81 billion, the state-owned media the Global Times has reported.
The state-media reported that the US State Department approved the sales to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US of 135 Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles and related equipment estimated to be worth more than $1 billion, 11 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems M142 Launchers and related equipment for an estimated $436.1 million and six MS-110 Recce Pods and related equipment for an estimated $367.2 million.
As per the earlier Reuters reports, the deal was likely to include land-based Boeing-made Harpoon anti-ship missiles that will serve as a coastal defence against cruise missiles in case of an attack from China.
In July this year, China had threatened the US defence giants of sanctions when the deal was under speculations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had said that the US should cut defence ties with Taiwan “so that it doesn’t do further harm to bilateral relations and damage peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
Opposing the arms sales after a possible $620 million foreign military deal in July, China had opposed the move and said: “China decides to take measures to protect national interests. We will impose sanctions on the main contractor of this arms sale – Lockheed Martin.”
The US has not announced military support to Taiwan but Taipei has been seeking Washington’s assurance beyond political and diplomatic means in case of a Chinese invasion.