China has imposed trade and investment sanctions on US military contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon for supplying weapons to Taiwan
Originally published in Morning Star: The People’s Daily on February 16, 2023
CHINA’S National People’s Congress’s foreign affairs committee accused US lawmakers on Thursday of trampling on the sovereignty of other nations.
This comes after the United States passed a measure condemning a suspected Chinese spy balloon’s intrusion into US airspace.
The House of Representatives resolution, passed unanimously, condemned China for a “brazen violation” of US sovereignty and efforts to “deceive the international community through false claims about its intelligence collection campaigns.”
The Chinese foreign relations committee said the resolution “deliberately exaggerated the ‘China threat’.”
It said the move was “purely malicious hype and political manipulation.
“Some US Congress politicians fanned the flames, fully exposing their sinister designs to oppose and contain China.”
The statement added: “In fact, it is the United States that wantonly interferes in other countries’ internal affairs, violates their sovereignty and conducts surveillance on other countries.”
The statement repeated Beijing’s insistence that the balloon was an unmanned civilian weather research airship, a claim the US has dismissed.
While China expressed regret over the February 4 incident, it has since toughened its stance in response to the continued rhetoric from Washington.
On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said it would take measures against US entities and followed this up on Thursday by sanctioning Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missile and Defence Corporation, saying they were now on an “unreliable entities list.”
The sanctions against the two major weapons manufacturers are said by the Chinese to be related to the sale of arms to Taiwan, but the new regulations prevent them from “engaging in import and export activities related to China.”
Along with Congress’s passing of the resolution, Washington decided to sanction six Chinese entities it said are linked to Beijing’s aerospace programmes.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also cancelled a visit to Beijing, which helped to plunge relations to their lowest in decades amid disputes over trade, human rights, Taiwan and China’s claim to the South China Sea.
Without providing evidence, US officials have said China operates a fleet of such balloons, which are a relatively inexpensive and difficult to detect method of gathering intelligence.
The US government determined the balloon posed little risk to national security and allowed it to fly across the continent before bringing it down with a missile off the coast of South Carolina.
The Morning Star is a British daily newspaper originally founded in 1930 as the Daily Worker by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), ownership was transferred from the CPGB to an independent readers’ co-operative in 1945. The paper was then renamed and reinvented as the Morning Star in 1966. The paper describes its editorial stance as in line with Britain’s Road to Socialism, the programme of the Communist Party of Britain.