China has imposed sanctions on five US defense companies. In this way, Beijing is responding to the recent announcement of new US arms sales to Taiwan. China sees this as a serious violation of its sovereignty and security interests.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said today that the affected companies are BAE Systems Land and Armament, Alliant Techsystem Operation, AeroVironment, ViaSat, and Data Link Solutions. Punitive measures include confiscating the assets of those companies in China and prohibiting transactions and cooperation with organizations and individuals in China.
The sanctions follow “deeply wrong actions” by the United States and are consistent with Chinese law regulating countermeasures when Chinese interests are threatened. This measure comes as a result of “unlawful unilateral sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals.”
Last month, the US State Department approved the sale of equipment to modernize Taiwan's tactical information systems. This is estimated at $300 million. Since then, China has put its forces around the Taiwan Strait on high alert.
Although Taiwan has been self-governing since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Beijing still considers the island a rebellious province. This is also not the first time that China has imposed sanctions on American companies over arms sales to Taiwan. At the beginning of last year, China already placed Lockheed Martin and Raytheon on the list of unreliable entities. As a result, companies are no longer allowed to trade with China.
In the years following World War II, the Chinese Communists, led by Mao Zedong, succeeded in expelling Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists from the mainland to Taiwan. Until the late 1970s, American diplomacy recognized Taipei as official China. But Washington has remained a staunch ally of Taiwan.
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