The Chinese regime will impose unspecified sanctions on Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, Raytheon, and other U.S. companies it says are involved in Washington's arms sales to Taiwan.
China's foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Oct. 26 the move was to protect the regime's national interests, but did not specify what form the sanctions would take.
The Chinese Communist Party considers self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and refuses to recognize its sovereignty. Beijing has never ruled out using force to bring it under the Party’s control.
The package includes 135 SLAM-ERs—a type of advanced air-launched cruise missile—made by Boeing; Himars mobile artillery rocket systems by Lockheed Martin; and surveillance and reconnaissance sensors by Raytheon, to be mounted on aircraft.
Boeing said in an emailed statement that the company's partnership with China's aviation community had long-term benefits and Boeing remained committed to it.
Lockheed Martin said that all of its international sales are strictly regulated by the U.S. government, and that its presence in China is limited.
Raytheon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The United States, like most countries, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but Washington is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.
So far this year, Chinese military aircraft have crossed the sensitive “median line” of the Taiwan Strait—a demarcation that has served as an unofficial buffer zone—49 times, the highest number in a given year since 1990.