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China Sanctions Five American Defense Contractors Over Taiwan Weapons Sales

The People’s Republic of China has sanctioned five US defense contractors in response to their arms sales to Taiwan.

Firms mentioned in the decision released by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs are BAE Systems Land and Armaments, AeroVironment, Viasat, Alliant Techsystems Operation, and Data Link Solutions.

The foreign ministry wrote that the sales bypassed China’s authority and posed a threat to the republic’s national security and sovereignty.

The penalty will freeze the companies’ moveable and immovable properties based in China and prohibit organizations and individuals from engaging with the businesses.

“The US arms sales to China’s Taiwan region… undermine the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and violate the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and individuals,” the ministry said.

“China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this and has made solemn démarches to the US.”

436th Aerial Port Squadron Airmen load cargo being delivered to Ukraine onto a contracted aircraft at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, June 16, 2020. Contracted aircraft stopped at Dover AFB to pick up cargo as part of a foreign military sales project. The U.S. is committed to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The two countries continue to strengthen their partnership first initiated in 1993. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Quail)
436th Aerial Port Squadron Airmen loading foreign military sale cargo. Photo: Senior Airman Christopher Quail/US Air Force

In the statement, the agency reiterated China’s territorial sovereignty over Taiwan and reminded Washington to acknowledge its standing relationship with Beijing over the matter.

“We urge the United States to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, observe international law and the basic norms governing international relations, stop arming Taiwan, and stop targeting China with illegal unilateral sanctions,” the foreign ministry said.

“Otherwise, there will be a strong and resolute response from China.”

Latest US Foreign Military Sales to Taiwan

The US State Department approved the $300-million sale of military information system equipment to the Taiwanese government last month.

In August 2023, Washington cleared Taipei’s purchase of advanced airborne tracking sensors for its F-16 Fighting Falcon combat jets.

The US also announced plans to approve a separate contract worth $440 million to Taiwan in June to increase the country’s ammunition and repair parts for weapons and vehicles.

In 2022, the Pentagon signed a $180-million sale of vehicle-launched anti-tank systems to Taipei.

The same year, the US government announced a $1.1-billion military sale to Taiwan to boost its surveillance and air defense capabilities.

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