China sanctions U.S. firms over Taiwan arms sales

China is set to impose sanctions on U.S. firms over arms sales to Taiwan.

On Monday (October 26) a foreign ministry spokesman said the measures would target top defense contractors:

"To safeguard our national interests, China decided to take necessary measures and levy sanctions on U.S. companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense and Raytheon, and those individuals and companies who behaved badly in the process of the arms sales with Taiwan.”

The move comes after Washington approved the sale to Taiwan of equipment worth around 1.8 billion dollars.

That includes missiles made by Boeing, and artillery rocket systems made by Lockheed Martin.

Further approvals are expected for weapons including anti-ship missiles, also made by Boeing.

Beijing considers Taiwan a wayward province that it has vowed to bring under control, by force if necessary.

Armed forces on the island regularly prepare to repel an attack.

The U.S., like most countries, has no official ties with Taiwan, but is bound by law to provide it with the means to defend itself.

In recent months the Trump administration has ramped up arms sales and visits by top officials, stoking tensions with Beijing.

As yet, China has provided no detail on what form the sanctions will take.

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