*** ----> Beijing sanctions two US defence companies over Taiwan arms sales | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Beijing sanctions two US defence companies over Taiwan arms sales

AFP | Beijing

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Beijing sanctioned yesterday two US defence companies, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, over their roles in supplying arms to Taiwan.

The United States Congress, under the Taiwan Relations Act, requires the supply of weapons to the self-governing democracy for its defence.

President Joe Biden’s administration has recently announced a slew of arms sales to the island, including one that for the first time approved direct US military aid to Taiwan under an assistance programme aimed at foreign governments.

“Despite China’s firm opposition, the US government is determined to provide weapons to Taiwan... seriously harming China’s sovereignty and security interests, and going further and further on the wrong and dangerous road of arming Taiwan,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing. She said that Lockheed Martin was the prime contractor in US arms sales to Taiwan that took place on August 24, and that Northrop Grumman had taken part in sales “many times”.

“According to the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law of the PRC, China has decided to impose sanctions on the above two US military companies,” she said, without providing details of the curbs.

Mao said China urged the United States to stop selling weapons to Taiwan. “Otherwise, it will inevitably face a resolute and strong response from China,” she added.

Arms sales The United States said in August that it had approved the sale to Taiwan of advanced sensor equipment -- built by Lockheed Martin -- for its fighter jets. The systems improve warplanes’ ability to detect airborne threats, increasing their chances of survival during combat.

The US State Department said at the time that the sale would help Taiwan “meet current and future threats by contributing to the recipient’s abilities to defend its airspace, provide regional security and increase interoperability with the United States through its F-16 program”. The State Department said the F-16 Infrared Search and Track systems and related equipment would help Taiwan “maintain a credible defensive capability”.