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China targets, sanctions CEOs of Boeing Defense, Raytheon over Taiwan arms sales

China's President Xi Jinping. (Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)
September 16, 2022

China is sanctioning Boeing Defense CEO Ted Colbert and Raytheon CEO Gregory Hayes over U.S. sales of their weapons systems to Taiwan. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning announced the targeted sanctions on Friday.

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Mao said the ongoing U.S. arms sales to Taiwan violate the one-China principle “gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, and severely harm China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

While Taiwan governs itself as an independent nation, China considers the island a part of its territory.

“To defend China’s sovereignty and security interests, the Chinese government has decided to sanction Gregory J. Hayes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Raytheon Technologies Corporation, and Theodore Colbert III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, who were involved in the latest arms sale,” Mao said.

Mao described the sanctions as China’s response to a series of new arms sales the Pentagon announced on Sept. 2.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which handles U.S. arms sales to other nations, announced three different sets of weapons sales on Sept. 2.

The first sale included 100 AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder tactical air-to-air missiles and four AIM-9X missile guidance systems, worth $85.6 million. The missiles are produced by Raytheon.

Another sale included 60 AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles and four exercise missiles, worth about $355 million. The missiles are produced by Boeing.

A third DSCA contract did not include any weapons, but provides $665.4 million in logistical and technical support for Taiwan’s Surveillance Radar Program (SRP).

China already sanctioned Boeing Defense and Raytheon for arms sales in October of 2020. China also applied sanctions to Lockheed Martin at the time for U.S. sales of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) M142 Launchers to Taiwan.

These new Chinese sanctions, now targeting the company CEOs, represent the latest escalation in tensions over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.