China Sanctions Lockheed And Raytheon After Threatening To Respond To Us Penalties

China Sanctions Lockheed And Raytheon After Threatening To Respond To Us Penalties- A day after Beijing promised to take “countermeasures” in response to Washington’s handling of a rumored Chinese surveillance balloon that entered American airspace and was shot down by US forces earlier this month, Beijing has imposed sanctions on two American defense manufacturers over arms sales to Taiwan.

According to a statement released by China’s Ministry of Commerce on Thursday, Raytheon (RTN) Missiles & Defense and Lockheed Martin Corporation will be added to the country’s list of sanctioned companies. They are prohibited from investing, trading, and importing into China.

The F-22 Raptor fighter, manufactured by Lockheed, is the one that brought down the Chinese balloon off the coast of South Carolina on February 4. The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, which was utilized in operation, is made by Raytheon.

China Sanctions Lockheed And Raytheon After Threatening To Respond To Us Penalties
China Sanctions Lockheed And Raytheon After Threatening To Respond To Us Penalties

China has maintained that the “unmanned airship mishap” was unrelated to the sanctions. On Friday morning, China’s Ministry of Commerce said the actions were “regular law enforcement action” in response to the two businesses selling armaments to Taiwan that “seriously threatened” China’s territorial integrity and national security.

The US Commerce Department had just a few days earlier prohibited six Chinese companies it claimed were involved in the Chinese army’s aerospace program from acquiring US technology without permission.

Along with being subject to fines “double the amount” of their past-September 2020 arms sales to Taiwan, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s senior officials will be barred from entering and operating in China.

It was unclear how Beijing would impose the sanctions right away. Although the US forbids arms sales to China, several US defense contractors have connections to the civil sector.

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According to a Lockheed Martin representative, “We do business with more than 70 different countries across the world, and all of our international sales are tightly monitored by the US government.”

An inquiry for comment from CNN was not immediately answered by Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

Beijing has already imposed sanctions on both businesses related to their arms sales to Taiwan, but without outlining the details of the penalties or how they would be carried out. Taiwan was never under the Communist Party of China’s rule, but the party still regards it as part of its territory. China’s commerce ministry said in a statement on Friday that it has sanctioned two businesses that supply Taiwan with weaponry for the first time using its list of “unreliable entities.”

China claims the balloon was a civilian research aircraft blown off course, and this has caused political friction between the United States and China to escalate.

Since then, China has been charged by Washington with running a global aerial surveillance program. Beijing has refuted those assertions, and this week it accused the US of “illegally” entering its airspace more than ten times since 2022, including over Tibet and Xinjiang, two of its westernmost provinces.

On Wednesday, US intelligence authorities considered the possibility that the alleged surveillance balloon was accidentally diverted from its intended trajectory by the Chinese government rather than being deliberately steered over the US mainland.

Relationships have already deteriorated due to the event, leading to the cancellation of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s anticipated trip to China earlier this month. Following a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the G20 conference in Bali in November, the trip was anticipated to help reduce tension between the two countries.

In remarks on Thursday, Biden stated that he expected to “get to the bottom of this” by speaking with Xi after the balloon incident, but added that he made “no apologies” for “bringing down the balloon.”

He reiterated that the US wanted “competition, not conflict,” and that the US would continue to interact with China. According to Biden, the current circumstance “underscores the significance of keeping open lines of communication” between US diplomats and Chinese military experts.

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