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China to sanction Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed over Taiwan arms

[BEIJING] China will impose unspecified sanctions on Boeing’s defence unit, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies after the US State Department approved US$1.8 billion in arms sales to Taiwan last week.

The sanctions will be imposed “in order to uphold national interests,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters Monday in Beijing.

The action follows the State Department’s approval last week of US$1.8 billion in sales of new weapons for Taiwan and submission of the package to Congress for a final review.

The deals, and an earlier one involving Lockheed F-16 fighters, are taking place amid rising tension between the superpowers ahead of the US election next week.

The new package includes 135 Slam extended-range land attack missiles from Boeing, Himars mobile artillery rocket systems from Lockheed, and Raytheon surveillance and reconnaissance sensors to be mounted on aircraft.

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Boeing fell 3.7 per cent to US$161.11 at 11.32 am in New York as the broader market slumped on concerns about rising coronavirus cases. Lockheed dropped 2.7 per cent to US$364.24, while Raytheon declined 3.7 per cent to US$60.23.

Boeing’s 50-year relationship with China in aviation has helped the country’s “safe, efficient and profitable aviation system to keep pace with the country’s rapid economic growth,” the company said by email.

Boeing sells civilian aircraft such as the 787 Dreamliner and 737 Max to Chinese airlines. “It’s been a partnership with long-term benefits and one that Boeing remains committed to,” Boeing said.

Raytheon, which makes Pratt & Whitney jet engines and other aeronautics equipment, also touted its connections to China’s civil aviation industry. “We remain committed to its success,” the company said by email.

Raytheon and Lockheed noted as well that foreign military sales are government-to-government transactions, made in cooperation with US authorities. Lockheed said its presence in China is limited. 

In August, the US and Taiwan completed the sale of 66 new model F-16 Block 70 aircraft from Lockheed. Mr Zhao, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, condemned it at the time, saying it violates the One China principle, interferes in China’s internal affairs and will have a “major impact” on US-China relations.

In July, China – which considers Taiwan part of its territory and resists any recognition of its de facto independence – had announced sanctions on Lockheed Martin for a previous arms sale to the island.

 BLOOMBERG
 

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