China plans to impose new sanctions on five US defense companies that recently sold weapons to Taiwan. This was announced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Sunday, according to Bloomberg.
According to the Chinese ministry, it concerns BAE Systems Land and Armament, Alliant Techsystems Operation, AeroVironment, ViaSat and Data Link Solutions. These measures include freezing the assets of companies in China and prohibiting transactions and cooperation with companies and individuals in China.
Also Read | China fights 'bitter end' over Taiwan
According to the ministry, the sanctions are a result of the US's 'serious and wrong decisions' and fall under China's 'foreign sanctions law'. In addition, China's sanctions can be seen as retaliation for the US's 'illegal unilateral sanctions' against China.
On the other hand, the decision is seen as the latest retaliation to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's decision to sell at least $300 million worth of military equipment to Taiwan. The deal was announced in December. China's People's Liberation Army has intensified military training and readiness around the Taiwan Strait.
Also Read | Xi wants to demonstrate in California that trade transcends geopolitical tensions
It is not yet known what impact these sanctions will have on US companies. In general, US defense manufacturers do not have business operations in China, and these types of sanctions should be considered largely symbolic.
Not the first time
Yet this is not the first time China has imposed sanctions on US companies for arms sales to Taiwan, a potential conflict zone between the world's largest economies and military superpowers. Earlier last year, China placed US aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Missiles & Defense were still on the blacklist, and it imposed an import and export ban on the companies, as well as a ban on investment in China.
Also Read | Tensions are rising between China and Taiwan due to the build-up of Chinese armed forces
Although Taiwan is self-governing and has been a de facto independent state since 1949, the Chinese government in Beijing views the island as a rebel province and eagerly awaits reunification. China has long complained about US arms shipments to Taiwan, saying the sales “blatantly contradict” the One China policy and the terms of three US-China joint statements.
“Passionate analyst. Thinker. Devoted twitter evangelist. Wannabe music specialist.”