China retaliates against US arms sales to Taiwan with sanctions on five defense firms

Us and China

Beijing: China announced on Sunday that it would sanction five US defense contractors in retaliation for US arms sales to Taiwan and US sanctions on Chinese entities and individuals. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in an online statement that the sanctions would freeze the assets of these firms in China and ban any Chinese organizations or persons from doing business with them.

The sanctioned firms are BAE Systems Land and Armament, Alliant Techsystems Operations, AeroVironment, Viasat, and Data Link Solutions. They are involved in the production or supply of weapons and equipment that the US has approved to sell to Taiwan, such as missiles, drones, and communication systems. The US arms sales to Taiwan, which totaled $918 million in 2023, have angered China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province that must be reunited with the mainland by force if necessary.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry accused the US of harming China’s sovereignty and security interests, undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and violating the rights and interests of Chinese companies and citizens. It also said that the US sanctions on Chinese entities and individuals, which were imposed for alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, were based on lies and interference in China’s internal affairs.

“The Chinese government remains steadfast in our resolve to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity, and safeguard the legal rights and interests of Chinese companies and citizens,” the ministry said in the statement. It also warned the US to stop arms sales to and military contacts with Taiwan and to respect China’s core interests and major concerns.

Us and China

The sanctions are the latest escalation in the tense China-US relations, which have deteriorated over a range of issues, such as trade, technology, human rights, and regional security. The sanctions also come amid rising cross-strait tensions, as China has increased its military activities and pressure on Taiwan, while the US has reaffirmed its support for Taiwan’s self-defense and democracy.