China announced sanctions against CEOs of two major U.S. defense contractors Friday for their role in an arms package the State Department approved for Taiwan on Sept. 2.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said the sanctions against Raytheon CEO Gregory J. Hayes and Boeing Defense CEO Ted Colbert will “defend China’s sovereignty and security interests” against U.S. “military contact” with Taiwan. The Biden administration notified Congress of its intent to transfer $1.1 billion worth of military equipment to Taiwan earlier this month, including 60 anti-ship missiles Boeing Defense agreed to produce and 100 air-to-air missiles contracted with Raytheon. (RELATED: Pentagon To Speed Up Weapons Sales To Allies As US Struggles To Maintain Its Own Stocks)
Ning condemned the sales, saying they “gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, and severely harm China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
Although China has separately blacklisted Boeing and Raytheon, as well as other defense firms and unspecified persons connected to arms transfers to Taiwan, it has never specifically named the targeted individuals, Reuters reported.
In February, China sanctioned Raytheon and Lockheed Martin for contributing to a $100 million arms sale approved Feb. 7 that Beijing claimed “undermined China’s security interests, seriously undermined China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” according to Reuters.
Since then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has brought to the fore China’s claim to control Taiwan, and the self-ruling island’s determination to remain autonomous. China staged a historic series of military drills around the island and announced a number of “countermeasures” against U.S. “provocations,” including cutting off communication with U.S. military leaders.
The Biden administration announced the latest package as Taiwan embarks on a push to strengthen and modernize its military in response to increased aggression from China.
The U.S. does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but has committed via the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act to providing the island with the means to defend itself from a possible Chinese invasion.
Ning urged the U.S. to lay off arms sales to Taiwan and “stop creating factors that could lead to tensions in the Taiwan Strait.”
Ning did not elaborate on the details of the sanctions or how China intended to enforce them, nor did China explain the mechanisms of previous sanctions, according to Reuters.
BREAKING: #SFRC overwhelmingly approves my Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, which bolsters our Taiwan policy and strengthens our relationship to maintain stable cross-Strait deterrence in the face of the threat of Chinese aggression. https://t.co/n9bACOi6NF pic.twitter.com/VYDskTJKiE
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SFRCdems) September 14, 2022
The U.S. does not sell arms to China, but Boeing’s commercial division operates a Dreamliner aircraft production facility in Beijing.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate advanced a bill, the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, intended to “support the security of Taiwan and its right of self determination” with billions in defense funding for “counter intervention capabilities.”
Boeing declined to comment. Raytheon did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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