China Imposes Sanctions on Two Major American Defense Companies over U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan

China has announced sanctions against two major American defense companies in response to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, further escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan violated agreements between the two countries and interfered with China’s internal affairs. The ministry emphasized that such actions undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, calling the sales a violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of past China-U.S. joint communiqués.

Effective from April 11, 2024, China has imposed sanctions on General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems, targeting their senior management and freezing their assets within China. General Dynamics, which operates aviation services in China and manufactures the Abrams tank, faces repercussions for its involvement in the arms sales.

This move by China follows similar sanctions imposed last year on Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Missiles & Defense after their involvement in shooting down a suspected spy balloon flying over U.S. military installations.

Taiwan remains a contentious issue between the U.S. and China, with the former maintaining unofficial diplomatic ties with the island nation. Despite switching official recognition to Beijing in 1979, the U.S. continues to support Taiwan’s defense against potential Chinese aggression.

In recent years, China has intensified its military activities around Taiwan, heightening tensions in the region. The latest sanctions coincide with a visit by the Japanese prime minister to Washington, during which both the U.S. and Japan reiterated their positions on the Taiwan issue.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Mao Ning reiterated China’s stance on the Taiwan question, emphasizing that it is a domestic affair and urging the U.S. and Japan to refrain from interference. She called for concrete actions from the U.S. to align with President Biden’s commitment not to support “Taiwan independence.”