China sanctions top US executives for arms sales to Taiwan

China announced Friday that it will impose sanctions on top executives of US firms Raytheon Technologies and Boeing Defense for their role in the recent sale of a military aid package worth $1.1 billion to Taiwan.

Those sanctioned include Gregory Hayes, CEO and chairman of Raytheon Technologies; and Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a press conference, according to the state-owned Global Times newspaper.

However, Mao did not clarify what the sanctions consist of and just commented that China has taken this decision to safeguard China’s sovereignty and security interests.

In June 2021, China passed legislation to retaliate against those who “interfere” in their “domestic affairs” that includes a ban on entering China.

Mao said they urge the United States to stop the sale of arms to Taiwan, and accused it of having violated the agreements with Beijing with its latest arms sale to Taiwan..

Last week, China condemned the sale of military equipment and promised reprisals, claiming the sale sent the wrong signal to separatist forces seeking Taiwan’s “independence,” which China strongly opposes and condemns.

The US military aid package comes with the aim of helping the island, whose sovereignty China claims, to bolster its missile and radar system.

The United States claims that it has a commitment to the island to provide it with military aid, but does not clarify whether it would intervene in the event of a Chinese attack, a policy described as “strategic ambiguity.”

Moreover, a US Senate committee approved Wednesday a bill concerning Taiwan, which considerably expands the military aid that the North American country provides to the island.

The arms sales come at a time of heightened tension between the US and China, accentuated by the recent visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The trip displeased the Chinese government, which responded with economic sanctions and military maneuvers in the waters surrounding the island that Taipei described as a blockade.

China claims sovereignty over the island and considers Taiwan a rebel province since the Kuomintang nationalists retreated there in 1949, after losing the civil war against the Communists.

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