China sanctions US arms company over arms trade with Taiwan News
China sanctions US arms company over arms trade with Taiwan

China announced sanctions against US arms company Lockheed Martin in response to the US sale of arms to Taiwan on Friday. The spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry Lin Jian contended that the arms deal violates the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, especially the August 17 Communiqué of 1982.

These sanctions resulted in total asset freezing and a ban on Chinese people or companies interacting with Lockheed Martin and its executives or subsidiaries, including Lockheed Martin Missile System Integration Lab, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, and Lockheed Martin Ventures. The sanction also covers the chairman of Lockheed Martin James Donald Taiclet, the chief operating officer Frank Andrew St. John and the chief financial officer Jesus Malave. 

Causing these sanctions are the announcements made on June 18 by the US Defense Security Operations Agency regarding the approval of two arms deals totaling approximately $360 million. The first, equating to $300 million, includes unmanned aerial vehicles, Pneumatic Integrated Launch Systems, and other technical assistance. The second deal totals $60.2 million and is said to consist of 720 Switchblade 300 miniature loitering munitions and other “non-Major Defense Equipment.”

China’s press release declared that Taiwan will “get nowhere” through its US relations, as China is continuously opposed to the notion of Taiwan separatism, declaring it incites an opposition to peace and security and that China will retaliate against threats to its sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

On the same day, the Chinese Supreme People’s Court, along with the country’s national security department and other bureaus, requested the provincial governments and judiciaries to follow the newly issued guidelines and introduce severe criminal penalties for supporting “Taiwan independence.” Activities deemed as fragmenting the country or inciting secession could attract the death penalty under the new guideline. In response, Taiwan argued that its citizens enjoy democratic freedoms and are free from the jurisdiction of the Chinese government.

This is not the first time China has sanctioned US companies for weapon trade with Taiwan. Within this year, China has already announced sanctions against US companies for arms trade in January, April and May.