China announced sanctions on two of America’s leading defense contractors Thursday due to their weapons sales to Taiwan.
Lockheed Martin and a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, Raytheon Missile and Defense Corp., were prohibited Thursday from “engaging in China-related import or export activities,” the Chinese Communist Party’s Commerce Ministry announced. The two companies are also forbidden from making investments in China going forward.
CHINA COMMERCE MINISTRY TO INCLUDES LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP AND RAYTHEON MISSILES & DEFENSE INTO UNRELIABLE ENTITIES LIST FROM TODAY
— First Squawk (@FirstSquawk) February 16, 2023
Senior management from the companies is banned from entering China, staff in China had their residence permits cancelled and the CCP announced fines for each company for double the amount of their arms sales to Taiwan. Neither company sells weapons to the CCP, so it is unclear how the CCP could enforce the fine.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was dismissive of the move Thursday, calling the measures “symbolic and unnecessary.” (RELATED: Top US General Says He Can’t Rule Out Aliens To Explain String Of UFO Encounters)
Raytheon did not comment publicly on the news. Lockheed Martin said that foreign weapons sales are a “government-to-government” transaction and that it will continue to follow U.S. policy on any such sales. Raytheon only sells commercial aircraft engines, landing gear and controls to commercial airliners in China, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Air Force used a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor jet to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon that had traversed U.S. airspace nearly two weeks ago. China called the move an “indiscriminate” use of force and has condemned the U.S. response to the discovery of the balloon, which it maintains was simply a weather device.