Monday, 10 August, 2020


China says to sanction Lockheed Martin over Taiwan arms sale

SAM YEH The potential US military sale would upgrade Taiwan's Patriot missile capability SAM YEH The potential US military sale would upgrade Taiwan's Patriot missile capability
Bennie Garza | 15 July, 2020, 07:00

The U.S. state department last week approved a request by Taiwan to update its Patriot surface-to-air missiles at an estimated cost of $620 million.

The possible foreign military sale involves Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles and would be the island's latest purchase from the United States to boost its defence capabilities as China grows in strength.

China will sanction Lockheed Martin for involvement in the latest US arms sale to Chinese-claimed Taiwan, Beijing said on Tuesday, adding tension to its troubled relationship with the United States.

Zhao added that the US should "stop arms sales to Taiwan and cut military ties with it, so as not to do further harm to China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait". "We will impose sanctions on the main contractor of this arms sale Lockheed Martin".

Lockheed Martin said in a statement: "Foreign Military Sales are government-to-government transactions and we work closely with the USA government on any military sales to worldwide customers".

"China resolutely opposes U.S. arms sales to the Taiwan region and urges the U.S.to abide by one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference. Then, on Monday, the Foreign Ministry announced unspecified sanctions against USA officials including Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, after the Trump administration levied penalties on Chen Quanguo, who sits on the Communist Party's 25-member Politburo. The deal comes less than two months after the USA approved a sale of torpedoes to the breakaway province.

The sale comes at a time when U.S. The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China also was included.

Last week, the USA sanctioned a top member of China's ruling Communist Party and three other officials over alleged abuses in the western province of Xinjiang.

Relations between China and the United States have been adversely affected as the two heavyweights continue to tussle on various issues such as origins of the coronavirus pandemic and China's policies in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang.

The DSCA could not be immediately reached for comment.

The United States has long had an arms embargo on China.

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