China said on Monday it would ban Lockheed Martin, the defense division of Boeing and other U.S. companies involved in selling weapons to Taiwan, the autonomous island that Beijing considers its territory.
Two US giants were involved in sales of missiles to Taiwan of around $ 2 billion, along with Raytheon, and Foreign Office spokesman Zhao Lijian urged the United States to stop selling weapons on the Isle.
The situation in Taiwan is likely to lead to a conflict between the United States and China over a broader conflict of technology, security and commercial domination.
Beijing says Taiwan is a selfish part of China that can be taken back, by force if necessary.
Zhao said the restrictions were “to protect national interests” and would apply to those who “have behaved badly in the process of selling arms to Taiwan”.
“We will continue to take the necessary measures to protect national sovereignty and security interests,” Zhao said without giving further details on the sanctions.
The United States, under the administration of President Donald Trump, has brought Taiwan into playing the role of a broader diplomatic and economic squeeze of its rival, sending high-level messengers and increasing arms sales.
The State Department said that, in a move hailed by Taiwan last week, it had approved the sale of 135 air-to-surface missiles.
Six MS-110 aerial reconnaissance pods and 11 M142 mobile light rocket launchers were also approved for sale, bringing the value of the three-weapon package to $ 1.8 billion.
Beijing has increased diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, who views the island as a de facto sovereign nation and not part of “One China”.
A US State Department statement last week said the SLAM-ER missile would help Taiwan “face current and future threats.”
The statement said the missile provides “precision attack capability against all moving, stationary and mobile targets, all weather, day and night” on land or at sea.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said these weapons would help “build credible combat capabilities and enhance the development of asymmetric warfare.”
Chinese fighter jets and bombers have entered Taiwan’s air defense sector with increasing frequency in recent months, while propaganda films have shown simulated attacks on areas such as Taiwan.
China launched a diplomatic offensive last year in an effort to persuade some of Taiwan’s official allies to persuade the Solomon Islands and Kiribati.
Earlier this month, a senior White House official urged Taiwan to strengthen its military capabilities to protect against a possible invasion from China.
Beijing, in turn, accused Washington of violating agreements establishing diplomatic relations between the two governments in the 1970s.
China has approved Lockheed for its previous arms sales to Taiwan.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)