China Slaps Sanctions On Lockheed Martin Over Taiwan Arms Sales

( — On Friday, June 21, China’s Foreign Ministry announced they will be instituting sanctions against several business units of the US arms company Lockheed Martin as well as three of their executives.

A spokesperson for the Chinese foreign Ministry, Lin Jian, claims that the recent US sale of arms to Taiwan violates the One China Principle. The One China Principle asserts that there is only one China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of it. Over 180 countries recognize the One China principle, although the United States has a more ambiguous position on it. The US has a formal diplomatic relationship with China but maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan, as outlined in the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.

The sanctions forbid Chinese people or companies from interacting with Lockheed Martin. The sanctions also single out specific subsidiaries of the company as well as three specific Lockheed Martin executives. The named executives include chief operating officer Frank Andrew St. John, chairman of Lockheed Martin James Donald Taiclet, and chief financial officer Jesus Malave. All three men are also banned from traveling to China.

The sanctions are a direct response to the June 18 US Defense Security Operations Agency announcement regarding two arms deals to Taiwan totaling approximately $360 million. The arms supplied to Taiwan will consist of military-grade drones with advanced, precision-strike capabilities and reconnaissance assets, as well as other defense equipment and technical assistance. China responded to the announcement with condemnation and threats. They characterized the deals as threats to its sovereignty and territorial integrity and suggested that the deals incite opposition to peace and security.

Sanctioning American companies on account of weapon trades with Taiwan is not an unusual stance for China. This year alone, they have also levied sanctions against General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems, Boeing Defense, and Space & Security. There are some who suggest that the sanctions are largely symbolic, as military cooperation between the U.S. and China has been suspended since 1989. Tensions continue to rise in the region, as the Chinese Supreme People’s Court has recently introduced severe criminal penalties for supporting “Taiwan independence.”

Copyright 2024,