China 'to sanction' United States firms over Taiwan arms sale

Darnell Taylor
October 26, 2020

China said on Monday it will impose sanctions on top United States defence firms, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, for supplying weapons to Taiwan, amid deepening tensions between Beijing and Washington over increasing American arms sales to Taipei.

The sanctions are just the latest escalation in growing tensions between the United States and China over Taiwan. Azar's visit was regarded as the major diplomatic setback for Beijing, which asserts that the "One-China" policy constitutes the core of its foreign policy recognised by all the countries which have established diplomatic relations with it.

Last week, China strongly objected to the arms sales and warned of a "necessary response".

The exact details of the sanctions have yet to be announced, but Zhao said they will apply to "relevant USA individuals and entities that played a negative role in the arms sales".

Opposing the arms sales after a possible $620 million foreign military deal in July, China had opposed the move and said: "China decides to take measures to protect national interests".

Last week, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Pentagon's office that oversees USA military assistance to other nations, announced that the State Department had approved the sale of $1.008 billion worth of AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) and related equipment to the Republic of China, the official name of the government in Taipei, Taiwan.

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A week later, Ford announced that York Region would follow suit, ordering the region to go back to Stage 2 on October 19. Nineteen new cases involved people in their 40s.

Also approved was the sale of six MS-110 air reconnaissance pods and 11 M142 mobile light rocket launchers, taking the value of the three arms packages to $1.8 billion.

"We urge the abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiques, to stop its planned arms sales to Taiwan and cease military contact with Taiwan", said the spokesperson.

Taiwan's defence ministry said the weapons would help it "build credible combat capabilities and strengthen the development of asymmetric warfare".

China has also launched a diplomatic offensive aimed at courting Taiwan's few official allies, persuading the Solomon Islands and Kiribati to switch sides a year ago.

China opposes any weapon sales to Taiwan, which it considers to be under its sovereignty, saying these supplies destabilize the regional balance of power.

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