China sanctions 2 US companies over Taiwan

China has sanctioned two US defense companies for supporting arms sales to Taiwan, which China says it can take back by force if necessary. This is a rare development.

It includes freezing the assets of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems in China. It also bans company management from entering the country.

The files under review show that General Dynamics runs half a dozen Gulfstream and jet aviation services operations in China and remains heavily dependent on foreign aerospace technology, even as it seeks to establish a presence in the field.

The sanctioned company supplies Taiwan with Abrams tanks instead of the outdated armor it already has as a deterrent against a Chinese invasion.

General Atomics also produces Predator and Reaper drones used by the US military. Chinese officials did not elaborate on the details of this company’s alleged supply of arms to Taiwan.

Last year there was a balloon crisis

The sanctions were imposed in retaliation for US financial and travel restrictions on Chinese officials accused of human rights abuses in mainland China and Hong Kong under Beijing’s recently enacted Law of the People’s Republic of China on Countering Foreign Sanctions.

China had previously banned the US firms Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Missiles & Defense from the Chinese market in retaliation for their use of one of their aircraft and a missile to shoot down a suspected spy balloon flying over the continental United States last year. Similar balloons were also frequently spotted flying over Taiwan and in the Pacific Ocean.

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