China sanctions two US defence firms for selling Taiwan weapons

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has banned the senior executives of two U.S. defence companies from entering the country and frozen their property in response to their arms sales to Taiwan, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

The measures effective from Thursday were against General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which manufactures unmanned aerial systems, and military vehicle maker General Dynamics Land Systems, a unit of General Dynamics.

China said the arms sales “seriously interferes” in its internal affairs and “damages” China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The continued sale of arms by the United States to China’s Taiwan region is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three joint communiqués of the United States and China,” it said.

China said it has frozen the firms’ properties in China and banned their senior executives from entering the country.

Both companies did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Last year, China imposed sanctions against U.S. aerospace and defence firms Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, also for providing weapons to Taiwan.

Taiwan said its annual war games this year will practice “kill” zones at sea to break a blockade and simulate repelling a Chinese drill around the island that turns into an actual attack.

China, which views democratically governed Taiwan as its territory, has been staging regular exercises around the island for the past four years, to pressure Taipei to accept Beijing’s claim of sovereignty, despite Taiwan’s strong objections.

The United States is holding a series of security discussions with several countries this week.

The U.S., Britain and Australia, under the AUKUS security pact, talked about cooperation with Japan, while U.S. separately said it will change military command posture in Japan to allow better coordination and boost deterrence in the face of Chinese pressure.

The U.S. will also hold a trilateral summit with Japan and Philippines on Thursday that will discuss Beijing’s growing pressure in the South China Sea.

(Reporting by Liz Lee and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Sharon Singleton and Angus MacSwan)


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