In response to US arms sales to Taiwan, China is considering additional restrictions on Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin. The move is expected to escalate Beijing’s geopolitical rivalry with Washington. Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, announced the decision at a press briefing, citing a recently passed anti-foreign sanctions law that went into effect in 2021.
The move was in reaction to the US government’s approval of a $100 million (Rs 100 crore) deal by two companies to maintain Taiwan’s missile defense systems. China once again calls on the US government and relevant parties to cease arms sales to Taiwan and sever military ties with Taiwan. Beijing will continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests as the situation evolves, Wenbin said, according to Associated Press (AP).
US’ sale of weapons to Taiwan violates the ‘one-China principle: China
According to the AP report, it is unclear what sanctions would be imposed on American companies. In 2010, 2015, and 2019, China warned the United States of similar threats for selling arms or military aircraft to Taiwan. According to China, the sale of weapons to Taiwan violates the “one-China principle” and clauses of bilateral agreements. Taiwan is a democratically self-governing island claimed by communist-ruled China. Following the 1949 civil war, the two sides got separated.
The US has boosted weapons shipments to Taiwan in recent years
Even though the United States has no diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it is its closest ally. The United States has increased weapons shipments in recent years, infuriating China. Beijing regularly exerts pressure on American companies in an attempt to sway US policies. The tension over Taiwan has been escalating as Beijing has increased military activities near the island in an effort to compel concessions from the pro-independence administration of President Tsai Ing-wen. In addition, the Communist Party uses the economic clout of the Chinese mainland to exert pressure on foreign governments to end diplomatic and unofficial ties with Taiwan. Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and other defense industry heavyweights are restricting sales of military and dual-use technology to China.