China sanctions several Lockheed Martin units, three executives over arms deals with Taiwan

Beijing/Washington:  China has said that it has banned several business units of American aviation manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp. and three of its executives over arms deals the company has signed with Taiwan, the self-ruling island it claims as its own territory, media reports said.

The statement from China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the company’s cooperation with Taiwan had violated the country’s sovereignty, standard terminology in its discussions of any outside dealings that support the island’s government, the Independent reported.

The entities include Lockheed Martin Missile System Integration Lab, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, and Lockheed Martin Ventures, according to the statement.

All of their movable and immovable properties, and other kinds of assets within China shall be frozen, the statement added.

The senior executives under sanction include James Donald Taiclet, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Frank Andrew St. John, chief operating officer; and Jesus Malave, chief financial officer.

China has been steadily growing its domestic aircraft industry, producing parts, planes and services for Airbus and producing its commercial jets. Foreign technology has played a large part in that process, but Chinese companies have increasingly developed the means to replace their overseas suppliers, The Independent reported.

The executives’ movable and immovable properties and other kinds of assets within China shall be frozen, and it has been prohibited for any organisations or individuals within China to engage in any transactions, cooperation, or activities with them. They shall also be denied visas or entry into China, according to the statement.

Wu Qian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence, on Friday urged the US to honour its commitment to not support “Taiwan independence” and stop arming Taiwan in any form.

The newly approved US arms sales to Taiwan were reportedly worth about $360 million.

Taiwan relies heavily on US suppliers for arms, even as it works to boost its defence industries and increase mandatory military service for men from four months to one year. That comes against the backdrop of China’s rising threat to encircle or invade Taiwan to achieve what it calls a historical mission to annex the island.

Taiwan was formerly a Japanese colony and separated from mainland China amid a civil war in 1949.


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