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China slaps sanctions on US companies over weapons sales to Taiwan

China imposes sanctions on US companies over weapons sales to Taiwan. (File photo by Reuters)

China has announced sanctions against three US military companies over arms sales to the self-ruled island of Taiwan.

According to China’s commerce ministry, the firms that will be added to Beijing’s list of “unreliable entities” are General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems, and Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

“They will be barred from engaging in China-related import or export activities, and are forbidden to make new investments in China,” the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

“Senior executives of the companies are prohibited from entering China, while their work permits will be revoked,” it added.

Last month, Washington approved a huge military aid package for Taipei, prompting a warning from Beijing, which said the package would increase the “risk of conflict” along the strait.

China’s announcement came as Lai Ching-te, whom Beijing has branded as a “dangerous separatist” that will bring “war and decline” to Taipei, was sworn in on Monday as the island’s president.

China has sovereignty over Taiwan, and under the “One China” policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty. According to the principle, the Chinese Taipei is subject to Chinese sovereignty and Beijing is the sole representative of all China.

Beijing also prohibits its own diplomatic partners from having formal ties with Taiwan, which has legal diplomatic relations with only 13 countries, mostly small US client states in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

The Chinese government strongly opposes other countries pursuing official and diplomatic ties with the Chinese Taipei and has consistently warned the US and other states against engaging with the self-proclaimed government in Taipei.

Washington has no formal diplomatic relations with Taipei but remains the island’s largest weapons supplier, generating increasing tensions with Beijing over trade and a host of other issues.

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