CHINA TO SANCTION LOCKHEED MARTIN OVER ARMS SALES TO TAIWAN
China said on Tuesday it would place sanctions on Lockheed Martin for its involvement in arms sales to Taiwan, a move that could further escalate tensions between Beijing and Washington, Sherisse Pham reported for CNN Business late on July 14, 2020.
"China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference. Taiwan is a self-ruled island, but China has long vowed to unify it with the mainland.
The United States is one of Taiwan's main arms suppliers. The US State Department last week approved a request by Taiwan to upgrade its Patriot Surface-to-Air missiles at an estimated cost of $620 million, according to Taiwan's state-run Central News Agency.
In response, China is imposing "sanctions on the main contractor of this arms sale, Lockheed Martin," Zhao said, without going into detail. The US should "stop selling arms to Taiwan and cut its military ties to Taiwan, so it won't do further harm to bilateral relations between China and the United States," he added. Relations between the world's top two economies were already approaching new lows.