International headlines | China imposes sanctions on US weapons contractor executives

Beijing claimed that a $1.1 billion arms deal with Taiwan involved Boeing and Raytheon.

Due to their role in arms sales to Taiwan, Beijing is slapping personal sanctions on the CEOs of two US weapons manufacturing behemoths. The Chinese Foreign Ministry verified the news on Monday. The largest US-Taiwan transaction under the Joe Biden administration, a $1.1 billion armaments package for the island was disclosed by Washington two weeks prior.

According to Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry, US armament deliveries to the island, which China regards as its territory, "seriously violate" both US and Chinese agreements and the so-called "One China" policy.

She said, without going into detail about the specific sanctions that would be applied, "To defend China's sovereignty and security interests, the Chinese government has decided to sanction Gregory J. Hayes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Raytheon Technologies Corporation, and Theodore Colbert III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, who were involved in the latest arms sale."

Boeing and Raytheon are the main contractors for the sale including Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and Harpoon anti-ship missiles, respectively, according to Reuters.

Chinese sanctions have been in place on Raytheon and Lockheed Martin since Februaryincludingwhen Washington announced the sale of Patriot missile system upgrades to Taipei for $100 million.

Washington is once again being urged by Mao Ning to halt any armament transfers to Taiwan and "to cease fostering conditions that could fuel tensions in the Taiwan Strait."

She emphasized that her nation would keep taking all necessary steps to safeguard its security and sovereignty interests. The US maintains that its sizable arms transfers do not violate the "One China" policy and would merely aid Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient capacity for self-defense.

After Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House visited Taipei in August, tensions between the US and China grew significantly. China retaliated by holding extensive military exercises close to the island. Washington then sent a fleet of warships to the Taiwan Strait as a result of this.

The US Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that will provide Taipei with $4.5 billion in security aid over four years, despite the tense relations between the US and China.

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