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China sanctioning US military contractors over arms sales to Taiwan, Beijing says

China sanctioning US military contractors over arms sales to Taiwan, Beijing says

A spokesman for China's foreign ministry said Monday that Beijing would sanction several U.S. companies over arms sales to Taiwan.

Reuters and The Associated Press reported that Zhao Lijian told reporters that sanctions would be placed on Boeing Defense, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, as well as other Defense Department contractors that have been involved in sales to Taiwan's government.

“To safeguard our national interests, China decided to take necessary measures and levy sanctions on U.S. companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, and Raytheon, and those individuals and companies who behaved badly in the process of the arms sales,” he said, according to the news outlets.

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The statement comes just days after China demanded that the U.S. halt the sale of surface-to-surface missiles to Taiwan, which Beijing views as part of its territory.

“It seriously interferes in China's internal affairs, seriously harms China's sovereignty and security interests, sends out gravely wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces and severely undermines China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China firmly opposes it,” Zhao said last week, referring to the Trump administration's announcement a day earlier of a formal notification of approval for the sale.

The Trump administration countered in a statement, saying the sale would "help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region.”

Lockheed Martin told Reuters in a statement on Monday that it only has a limited presence in China, while Boeing told the news service that it remained committed to its Chinese market. Raytheon did not immediately return requests for comment from The Hill or Reuters.