BEIJING — China on Friday announced sanctions against the CEOs of U.S. defense contractors Raytheon and Boeing Defense over a major arms sale by the United States to its Taiwanese rival.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning did not say what the sanctions would be against Gregory Hayes, chairman and CEO of Raytheon Technologies Corp., and Ted Colbert, chairman and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security.
It was not immediately clear what impact they would have on executives or their companies, but these sanctions are often mostly symbolic in nature.
The United States last week announced a $1.09 billion arms sale to Taiwan, including $355 million for Boeing’s Harpoon missiles and $85 million for Raytheon’s Sidewinder missiles.
“We once again urge the U.S. government and relevant parties to … end arms sales to Taiwan and military contacts with Taiwan, and stop creating new factors that could lead to tensions across the Taiwan Strait,” Mao told a daily press briefing.
China claims Taiwan, a self-governing island of 23 million people off its east coast, as its territory and says it must eventually come under its control. Taiwan and China separated in 1949 in a civil war that brought the Communist Party to power in Beijing.
The United States does not officially recognize Taiwan as part of its one-China policy, but is the island’s main supplier of military equipment and is bound by its own laws to ensure Taiwan can defend itself. .
Mao also voiced China’s opposition to an upcoming trip to Taiwan by Czech lawmakers. A 14-member delegation is due to arrive on Sunday for a six-day visit, according to Taiwanese media.
“China is firmly opposed to any form of official contact between Taiwan and countries having diplomatic relations with China,” Mao said.
She called on Czech lawmakers “to refrain from sending the wrong signals to separatist Taiwan independence forces and to stop undermining (…) bilateral relations”.
In February, China announced sanctions against Raytheon and Lockheed Martin over a $100 million deal for maintenance of Taiwan’s missile defense systems by the two companies.
China has also protested against a bill that was approved by a US Senate committee this week that could significantly increase US military support for Taiwan.