China’s foreign ministry said on Friday it will impose sanctions on two US aerospace and defence firms for providing weapons to Taiwan.
“We urge the US side to effectively abide by the one-China principle … cease US-Taiwan military liaison and stop arming Taiwan, or else it will be subject to a resolute and forceful retaliation by the Chinese side,” she said.
Mao named Lockheed Martin Corp’s branch in Missouri as the prime contractor that was directly involved in an arms sale to Taiwan on August 24 and said Northrop Grumman has repeatedly participated in the sale of weapons to Taiwan.
Dozens of Chinese planes intimidating Taiwan this week
China has applied sanctions on US companies over selling weapons to Taiwan on numerous occasions before, and it is not immediately clear how they work or what they are intended to achieve given that neither company sells to China.
US President Joe Biden last month approved the transfer of up to $80 million in funds to Taiwan under the Foreign Military Financing programme, according to a notification sent to Congress.
The sanctions were imposed during a week of busy military activity around the democratically-governed island, in which a Chinese naval formation led by the aircraft carrier Shandong passed within 60 nautical miles (111 km) of Taiwan’s southeast.
Taiwan has also reported dozens of Chinese fighters, bombers and other aircraft flying into its air defence zone this week.
Beijing views the self-ruled island of Taiwan as a breakaway province that must accept Chinese sovereignty and has never renounced the use of force to achieve that goal.
China’s wide-ranging law to counter foreign sanctions came into force in 2021 in an apparent move to legalise tit-for-tat retaliation against punitive actions taken by foreign countries.
It has extraterritorial reach and is part of a suite of laws Beijing has introduced in recent years that analysts say may enable China to police countries’ behaviour towards it beyond its shores.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard