China Sanctions Five U.S. Defense Companies Over Supply to Taiwan

Targeted companies include AeroVironment and BAE Systems
  • bureau
  • 09:57 AM, January 8, 2024
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China Sanctions Five U.S. Defense Companies Over Supply to Taiwan
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China has decided to impose sanctions on five U.S. defense industry companies, including AeroVironment and BAE Systems, in response to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and U.S. sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals.

The announcement was made by a foreign ministry spokesperson on January 7, 2024.

The targeted U.S. defense companies include BAE Systems Land and Armament, Alliant Techsystems Operation, AeroVironment, ViaSat, and Data Link Solutions. These sanctions come as an addition to the growing list of U.S. entities facing restrictions from China.

In September 2023, Beijing imposed sanctions on Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman over their involvement in supplying arms to Taiwan. A month earlier, the U.S. approved the sale of advanced sensor equipment (Infrared Search and Track systems), developed by Lockheed Martin, for Taiwan's F-16 fighter jets.

Other companies such as Raytheon have previously been hit by Chinese sanctions.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not specify the exact arms deal or U.S. sanctions prompting the latest move. However, spokesperson Wang Wenbin had issued a warning three weeks ago, stating that China would take countermeasures following the U.S. government's approval of a $300 million military package for Taiwan in December 2023. The package includes equipment, training, and equipment repair aimed at sustaining Taiwan's command, control, and military communications capabilities.

The United States Congress, under the Taiwan Relations Act, mandates the provision of weapons to Taiwan to support its defense.

China's sanctions involve freezing the properties of the targeted U.S. companies in China, including both movable and immovable assets. Additionally, organizations and individuals within China are prohibited from engaging in transactions and cooperation with these U.S. defense industry entities.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement, asserting that the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan violate the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-U.S. joint communiques. The spokesperson expressed strong opposition to what was deemed "illegal unilateral sanctions" imposed by the United States on Chinese companies and individuals.

"I would like to stress that the Chinese government remains unwavering in our resolve to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity and protect the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and citizens," the spokesperson emphasized.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his annual New Year's Eve address, reiterated his claim that Taiwan would "surely be reunified" with China.

China urged the United States to abide by the one-China principle, adhere to international law, and cease arming Taiwan. The statement concluded with a warning of a "strong and resolute response from China" if the U.S. continues with what China perceives as provocative actions.

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