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20 May, 2024 20:48

China sanctions US weapons giants

Boeing, General Dynamics and General Atomics have been punished for trading with Taiwan
China sanctions US weapons giants

China's Ministry of Commerce has announced Monday that it has blacklisted Boeing’s military industry division and the respective manufacturers of Abrams tanks, Reaper and Predator drones, citing their sales to Taiwan.

Boeing Defense Space & Security, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and General Dynamics Land Systems have been placed on the “unreliable entities” list, which bans their executives from traveling to China and blocks their further investment in the country.

General Atomics builds the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones. According to AP, it was unclear whether any have been sold to Taiwan.

General Dynamics produces the M1 Abrams and South Korea’s K1/Type88 main battle tanks, as well as the Stryker family of light armored vehicles, among others. The US has sought to sell the Abrams to the authorities in Taipei as a deterrent from a hypothetical “invasion” from the mainland.

Boeing Defense’s CEO Ted Colbert was sanctioned by China in 2022, after the company won the $355 million contract to supply Taiwan with Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

The Chinese sanctions were announced on the day Lai Ching-te was sworn in as the new president in Taipei. His Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has vowed to bolster the domestic military industry and buy more advanced weapons from abroad.

Ceded to US troops by Japan in 1945, Taiwan became the last refuge of nationalist forces after their defeat in the Chinese civil war four years later. Washington recognized it as ‘Republic of China’ until 1979, when it established diplomatic relations with Beijing as the sole legitimate government of China.

Beijing’s ‘One China’ policy seeks the peaceful reintegration of the island and to prevent any attempt to declare it a sovereign nation, with military force if necessary.

Earlier this month, the US sanctioned dozens of Chinese companies involved in quantum computing research, as well as 26 companies sourcing cotton and textiles from Xinjiang province, where Washington claims Beijing is committing “genocide” against the local Uighurs. China has denied the accusations as malicious lies.