China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning did not specify what the sanctions would be against Gregory Hayes, chairman and CEO of Raytheon Technologies Corp., and Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security. But she mentioned in a press briefing that the sanctions were placed "in order to protect China's sovereignty and security interests," and on the basis of "their involvement in these arms sales."
"We once again urge the U.S. government and relevant parties to stop arms sales to Taiwan and military contact with Taiwan, and stop creating new factors that could lead to tensions in the Taiwan Strait," Ming said.
Included in the approved billion-worth of weaponry package were $355 million for Boeing's Harpoon missiles and $85 million for Raytheon's Sidewinder missiles.
In February, China announced sanctions on Raytheon and Lockheed Martin over a $100 million deal for the maintenance of Taiwan's missile defense systems by the two companies.
China's state-run Global Times newspaper reported: "Under China's Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, individuals can be banned from entering China, visas can be refused, seizing and the freezing of assets is allowed, deportations can be conducted, as well as other measures."
Back in August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a controversial visit to Taiwan. Since then, five more U.S. delegations have visited the country. At the same time, the People's Liberation Army military has kept breaching the Taiwan Strait median line.
China has also warned European countries about sending more officials to the self-ruled island, with the latest planned trip being a group of Czech lawmakers.
"China is firmly opposed to any form of official contact between Taiwan and countries having diplomatic relations with China," Mao warned and urged Czech lawmakers "to refrain from sending the wrong signals to the separatist forces of Taiwan independence and to stop undermining bilateral relations."
China claims Taiwan as its territory and says it must eventually come under its control. Taiwan rejects China's sovereignty claims, saying only its people can decide their future and pledges to defend itself if attacked. Taiwan and China split in 1949 during a civil war that brought Beijing's communist party to power.
Taiwan vowed early in September that it would exercise its right to defend its nation if Chinese armed forces enters its territory. Beijing has lately increased military activities near the island. (Related: Taiwan asserts its right to defend itself and to COUNTER-ATTACK if China invades.)
"For aircraft and ships that entered our sea and air territory of 12 nautical miles, the national army will counter-attack without exception," Lin Wen-Huang, Taiwan's deputy chief of the general staff for operations and planning, told reporters.
Chinese drones have been repeatedly flying close to the islands near China's coast. Lin said the military would exercise the same right to counter-attack Chinese drones that did not heed warnings to leave the Taiwanese territory after posing threats.
There had been an instance when Taiwan fired warning shots at a drone shortly after President Tsai Ing-wen ordered the military to take "strong countermeasures" against what she called "Chinese provocations." It was repeated the next day at drones circling islets in its Kinmen chain, situated just offshore from the Chinese cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou. After shots were fired, the drones then flew back to Xiamen.
Meanwhile, the Chinese are insisting that Taiwan belongs to them. "Firstly, I need to tell you that Taiwan is a province of China, it has no so-called defense ministry. The Taiwan authorities are playing up their nervousness, this is meaningless," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.
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Watch Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning announce the sanctions against the CEOs of Raytheon and Boeing Defense.
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