China sanctions bosses of US weapons contractors
Beijing is imposing personal sanctions on the CEOs of two US weapons manufacturing giants over their involvement in arms sales to Taiwan. The news was confirmed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday. It comes two weeks after Washington announced a $1.1 billion arms package to the island, the largest US-Taiwan deal under the Joe Biden administration.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Mao Ning, explained that US arms sales to the island, which China considers its territory, “seriously violate” the so-called 'One China' policy and existing agreements between the US and China.
“To defend China’s sovereignty and security interests, the Chinese government has decided to sanction Gregory J. Hayes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Raytheon Technologies Corporation, and Theodore Colbert III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, who were involved in the latest arms sale,” she said without elaborating on what kind of sanctions would be imposed.
According to Reuters, Boeing is the principal contractor for Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and Raytheon for Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and radar systems equipment included in the sale.
Raytheon, along with Lockheed Martin, has been subject to Chinese sanctions since February, when Washington announced the sale of $100 million worth of Patriot missile system upgrades to Taipei.
Mao Ning reiterated a call for Washington to stop all arms supplies to Taiwan and “to stop creating factors that could lead to tensions in the Taiwan Strait.”
She stressed that her country would continue to take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and security interests. The US insists that its massive arms packages are not in breach of the “One China” policy and would simply help Taiwan to maintain a proper self-defense capability.
Tensions between the US and China soared following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei in August. China responded by conducting large-scale military drills in proximity to the island. This, in turn, prompted Washington to send a fleet of cruisers to the Taiwan Strait.
Despite the strained relationship with China, the US Senate approved on Wednesday a bill that would allocate $4.5 billion in security assistance for Taipei over four years.