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China sanctions two US defense companies for alleged sale of arms to Taiwan..


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China has announced uncommon sanctions against two US defense firms, accusing them of aiding arms sales to Taiwan, the island nation that Beijing claims as its territory and vows to reclaim by force if necessary.

The sanctions entail freezing the assets of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems held in China, alongside barring the entry of the companies’ management into the country.

General Dynamics, known for its aviation services and Gulfstream operations in China, contributes to the production of the Abrams tank, part of Taiwan’s defense against potential invasion from China.

Meanwhile, General Atomics is responsible for manufacturing Predator and Reaper drones utilised by the US military. Chinese authorities did not specify the details of the alleged involvement of this company in supplying arms to Taiwan.

Despite long-standing threats of sanctions, China has seldom implemented them due to economic challenges, including repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic, heightened unemployment, and a notable decline in foreign investment.

The continued US arms sales to China’s Taiwan region seriously violate the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqus, interfere in China’s internal affairs, and undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It insists that the mainland and the island to which Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces fled amid civil war in 1949 remain part of a single Chinese nation.

Sanctions were leveled under Beijing’s recently enacted Law of the People’s Republic of China on Countering Foreign Sanctions.

General Dynamics fully owned entities are registered in Hong Kong, the southern Chinese semi-autonomous city over which Beijing has steadily been increasing its political and economic control to the point that it faces no vocal opposition and has seen its critics silenced, imprisoned or forced into exile.

Despite their lack of formal diplomatic ties a concession Washington made to Beijing when they established relations in 1979 the US remains Taiwan’s most important source of diplomatic support and supplier of military hardware from fighter jets to air defense systems.

Taiwan has also been investing heavily in its own defense industry, producing sophisticated missiles and submarines.

China had 14 warplanes and six navy ships operating around Taiwan on Wednesday and Thursday, with six of the aircraft crossing into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone a tactic to test Taiwan’s defenses, wear down its capabilities and intimidate the population.

So far, that has had little effect, with the vast majority of the island’s 23 million people opposing political unification with China.

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