Beijing: (seedhibaat news service)China on Tuesday announced sanctions on top American arms manufacturing firm Lockheed Martin in retaliation to the US State Department’s approval of a request by Taiwan for the recertification of PAC-3 air defence missiles built by the company.
“China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan. We urge the US to earnestly abide by the One-China principle, stop selling arms to Taiwan and cut its military ties so that it will not cause further harm to bilateral relations, peace and security across the Taiwan straits, Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here.
“In order to safeguard national interests, China decided to take necessary measures to impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin, the main contractor in this arms sales package,” he added.
His remarks came days after the US State Department last week approved Taiwan’s request for the recertification of its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) air defence missiles at an estimated cost of USD 620 million.
In a statement on Thursday, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Congress had already been notified of the possible sale.
According to US media reports quoting DSCA, Taiwan has asked to buy parts to refurbish its PAC-3 missiles to support an operational life of 30 years. Lockheed Martin Corporation is the main contractor for the deal.