China says it will hit the CEOs of US firms Boeing Defense and Raytheon with unspecified sanctions over their involvement in Washington’s latest arms deal with Taiwan.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Friday Boeing Defense, Space, and Security CEO Ted Colbert and Raytheon Technologies Corp boss Gregory Hayes will be sanctioned in response to the US State Department’s approval of the sale of more military equipment to the island on September 2.
Those sales included 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, of which the respective principal contractors are Boeing Defense, a division of Boeing, and Raytheon.
Colbert and Hayes will be sanctioned “in order to protect China’s sovereignty and security interests” said foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning citing “their involvement in these arms sales”.
Mao did not elaborate on what the sanctions would entail or on how they would be enforced.
“The Chinese side once again urges the US government and relevant entities to…stop selling arms to Taiwan and US-Taiwan military contacts.”
The Pentagon announced the package in the wake of China’s aggressive military drills around Taiwan following a visit last month by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to travel to Taipei in years.
China has previously sanctioned Raytheon, Boeing Defense and unspecified individuals involved in arms sales to Taiwan.
Friday’s announcement marks the first time Beijing identified and imposed sanctions against individuals from these companies.
Beijing considers the self-ruled island of Taiwan a wayward province it has vowed to bring under control, by force if necessary.
Taiwan rejects China’s sovereignty claims, saying only its people can decide their future, and has vowed to defend itself if attacked.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara