Boeing, Lockheed among targets . . .
China announced today that it will sanction Boeing Defense, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and other U.S. companies selling arms to Taiwan. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the "U.S. arms sales to Taiwan severely violate the one-China principle" and described the sanctions as "necessary measures" to safeguard China's national interests. Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province of the People's Republic of China and has threatened to take over the island by force if necessary. No details have been released on the sanctions.
In response to arms mega-deal . . .
China's new sanctions are in response to the U.S. State Department's announcement last week of a potential sale of three weapon systems to Taiwan. The arms sales would have a total value of US$1.8 billion and include sensors, missiles, and artillery. Taiwan's Defence Ministry said the weapons would "build credible combat capabilities and strengthen the development of asymmetric warfare." According to CNN, U.S. President Trump's administration has approved more than US$13 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, including fighter jets, tanks, and anti-aircraft missiles. The new arms sales come as President Trump seeks to brand himself as being “tough on China” ahead of the November 3 election.
Biden’s Taiwan Policy . . .
As the U.S. presidential election is only a week away, both candidates have vowed to strengthen Taiwan relations. In an op-ed published in a Chinese language newspaper, Biden describes Taiwan as "a leading democracy, major economy, technology powerhouse - and a shining example of how an open society can effectively contain COVID-19." He pledges to deepen relations with Taiwan if elected while remaining open to co-operating with China on public health and climate change issues. As tension in the Taiwan Strait continues to simmer, the president-elect will need to consider how the U.S. can maintain the region's delicate balance of power while avoiding escalation with China.