China has imposed sanctions on Lockheed and Raytheon after vowing to retaliate against US restrictions

Hong Kong

China imposed sanctions on two US defense manufacturers over arms sales to Taiwan a day after Beijing vowed to take “countermeasures” in response to Washington’s actions against the suspect. Chinese observation balloon which entered US airspace and was shot down by US forces earlier this month.


Martin Corporation and Raytheon

Missiles & Defense, a subsidiary of Raytheon

Technologies Corp will be added to China’s sanctions list, China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement. They are prohibited from importing, exporting and investing in China.

Lockheed does F-22 Raptor fighter, model which on February 4 shot down a Chinese balloon off the coast of South Carolina. AIM-9X Sidewinder the rocket that was used on the mission.

China insists that the sanctions are not related to the “unmanned airship incident.” On Friday morning, China’s Ministry of Commerce released a statement saying the measures are part of “routine law enforcement actions” in connection with the sale of weapons by the two organizations to Taiwan, which “seriously undermines” China’s national security and territorial integrity.

The sanctions came just days after the US Department of Commerce restricted six Chinese companies which, he said, were linked to the Chinese army’s aerospace program due to receiving American technology without government permission.

Both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missiles & Defense are also subject to a fine “twice” the amount of their arms sales to Taiwan starting in September 2020, and their executives will be banned from entering and working in China.

It was not immediately clear how Beijing would apply the fines. While the United States bans arms sales to China, some US defense contractors have ties to it. civil sectors.

“We do business with more than 70 countries around the world, and all our international sales are strictly regulated by the US government,” a spokesperson for Lockheed Martin told CNN.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Beijing previously imposed sanctions on both companies in connection with their arms sales to Taiwan, without specifying what sanctions would entail and how they would be applied. The ruling Communist Party of China considers democratic Taiwan to be its territory, despite never having controlled it.

In a statement Friday, China’s Commerce Ministry confirmed that it was the first time it had used its “list of untrustworthy entities” to impose sanctions on two companies selling weapons to Taiwan.

Political tensions between the United States and China have risen over a balloon that Beijing claims was a civilian research plane that went off course.

Washington has since accused China of overseeing international air surveillance program. Beijing denied those allegations and, in turn, this week accused the United States of “illegal” flying high-altitude balloons into its airspace more than 10 times since early 2022, including over its western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet.

Even US intelligence opportunity assessment that the alleged spy balloon was not deliberately maneuvered over the US mainland by the Chinese government, but was steered off course, CNN reported on Wednesday.

The incident has already led to a deterioration in relations and led to the postponement of an expected visit by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to China earlier this month. The trip was expected to help ease tensions between the two powers following a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the G20 summit in Bali in November.

In a speech Thursday, Biden said he expected to speak to Xi after the balloon incident to “get to the bottom of it,” but said he “didn’t apologize” for “shooting down that balloon.”

The United States will continue to engage with China, he said, reaffirming his position that the US seeks “competition, not conflict.” The current situation “highlights the importance of maintaining open lines of communication” between US and Chinese diplomats and military professionals, Biden added.

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