Oct 26, 2020 - World

China to sanction Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon over Taiwan arms sales

Taiwan's president

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen during a visit to Penghu Air Force Base. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images

China plans to impose unspecified sanctions on Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and other U.S. companies involved in weapons sales to Taiwan, Reuters reports, citing a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

Why it matters: The Trump administration last week notified Congress of an additional $1.8 billion in proposed arms sales to Taiwan. China's recent military exercises and the buildup of forces along its southeastern coast have renewed fears of an invasion of Taiwan, which Beijing views as a breakaway province that must be brought under its control.

The big picture: The proposed sanctions mark a continued tit-for-tat escalation between Washington and Beijing, as China institutes measures that parallel U.S. attempts to contain Chinese firms it deems a security risk.

  • Amid heightened tensions this year over Beijing's handling of the coronavirus, its crackdown on Hong Kong, trade practices, and human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the Trump administration has stepped up its support for the democratic Taiwan with arms sales and visits by high-level U.S. officials.
  • “To safeguard our national interests, China decided to take necessary measures and levy sanctions on U.S. companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defence, and Raytheon, and those individuals and companies who behaved badly in the process of the arms sales,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

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