China Bans Imports, Exports of US Defense Contractors Over Sales to Taiwan

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said on April 18 that Beijing is banning the exports and imports of two U.S. defense contractors, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies, for supplying weapons to Taiwan.

The ban is part of the sanctions imposed against Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missiles & Defense—a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies—in February “to prevent Chinese products from being used in their military business,” the ministry stated.

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The ministry urged Chinese companies to “strengthen due diligence and compliance system construction, and verify transaction information” in order to avoid violating China’s sanctions on the two American firms.

“For violations of relevant regulations, the relevant departments will be held accountable in accordance with laws and regulations,” it stated.

The sanctions also prohibit top executives of the companies—including Lockheed Martin CEO James Taiclet and Raytheon Missiles & Defense President Wesley Kremer—from traveling and working in China.

This came just days after Beijing denounced the United States for imposing sanctions on 120 targets from 20 countries and jurisdictions, one of which is a China-based company, over their alleged support for Russia.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry warned on April 15 that the U.S. sanctions would “affect the security and stability of the global supply chain” and vowed to “resolutely safeguard” the rights and interests of Chinese firms.

The Raytheon stand at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, on June 21, 2019. (Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were previously sanctioned by Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) imposed sanctions on the two companies in February 2022, but the nature of the sanctions was not specified.

Those sanctions came less than two weeks after the United States approved a $100 million military deal to bolster Taiwan’s missile defense system. Both companies were named as primary contractors in the sale.

In October 2020, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, along with The Boeing Company, were placed under Chinese sanctions after the State Department gave the nod to arms sales valued at $1.8 billion.

Last September, the U.S. State Department approved a potential $1.1 billion sale of military equipment to Taiwan. The package includes 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, of which the principal contractors are Boeing Defense and Raytheon, respectively.

The CCP later warned the United States that it would “resolutely take legitimate and necessary countermeasures” if Washington continued arms sales and military interactions with Taiwan.

China Threats Against Taiwan

Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province that must be united with the mainland by any means necessary, despite the fact that Taiwan has never been ruled by the CCP and has its own democratic government and currency.

The United States has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but it is the island’s largest ally and is bound by law to ensure that Taiwan has sufficient means to defend itself. The United States bars most sales of weapons-related technology to China.

The CCP staged a three-day military drill around the self-ruled island on April 8 after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in California.

Chinese aircraft incursions into the region continued despite the fact that the CCP had already proclaimed the conclusion of its military exercise on April 10.

Taiwan’s military said it detected 12 Chinese aircraft and four naval vessels near the island on Tuesday, with four aircraft spotted entering southwest of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone.

Eva Fu and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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