January 8, 2024
BEIJING – China announced sanctions on Sunday against five defense industry companies in the United States for their involvement in weapons sales to Taiwan, as it urged Washington to stop arming the island.
The five companies are BAE Systems Land & Armament, Alliant Techsystems Operations, AeroVironment, Viasat and Data Link Solutions, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. The decision was made in accordance with China’s Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law.
The measures include freezing the movable and immovable properties of those companies in China, and prohibiting organizations and individuals in China from transacting and cooperating with them.
The latest response came after the US approved a $300 million deal with Taiwan to upgrade the island’s tactical information system, and after it imposed sanctions on Chinese entities and individuals over the Ukraine crisis.
China deplores and firmly opposes such moves and has made solemn demarches to the US, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in the statement.
US arms sales to Taiwan violate the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, particularly the Aug 17, 1982, communique, the statement said.
The illegal unilateral sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals under false pretexts seriously harm China’s sovereignty and security interests, it said.
The move undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and violates the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and individuals, the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson stressed that the Chinese government remains unwavering in its resolve to safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and protect the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and citizens.
Beijing urges Washington to stop arming Taiwan and stop targeting China with illegal unilateral sanctions, the spokesperson said.
In the past, Beijing has sanctioned US companies, including Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, over arms sales to Taiwan.
Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, said that China’s targeted response has shown that the country will not stay silent and do nothing when Washington damages its core interests.
He said the US arms sales to Taiwan undermine the most important foundation for China-US cooperation.
The move is typical interference in China’s internal affairs, Li said, adding that it also sent a wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” forces, especially ahead of the region’s leadership election.
The US attempt to arm Taiwan and embolden “Taiwan independence” forces has exposed the hypocrisy of its policy toward China, he said, adding that the US can’t say one thing and do another.