China sanctions two US companies for selling weapons to Taiwan

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China announced this Friday sanctions against two US defense industry companies, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, for their role in supplying weapons to Taiwan, an island it considers part of its territory.

Lockheed Martin Corporation participated directly as a prime contractor in the sale of US arms to Taiwan on August 24. Northrop Grumman has participated on numerous occasions in the sale of US arms to Taiwan,” said Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

“China has decided to impose sanctions on the two American military companies,” he added.

“Despite strong opposition from China, the US government is determined to provide arms to Taiwan (…) seriously damaging China’s sovereignty and security interests, and going further and further down the wrong path and dangerous to arm Taiwan,” the spokesperson added in a press conference.

For five decades, the United States has only officially recognized Beijing, although Congress, under the Taiwan Relations Act, requires the supply of arms to the autonomous democracy for its defense.

Different US administrations have done so through sales and not direct aid to Taiwan.

But in August, Washington approved for the first time direct U.S. military aid to Taiwan under an assistance program aimed at foreign governments.

China considers Taiwan part of its territory, to be recovered one day, and opposes any type of official relationship between the island’s authorities and foreign governments.