BEIJING (Reuters) – China will impose sanctions on the chief executives of Boeing (NYSE: Devins) and Raytheon (NYSE:) for their participation in Washington’s recent arms sales to Taiwan, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday.
The sanctions against Boeing Defense, Space, and Security CEO Ted Colbert, and the president of Raytheon Technologies (NYSE:) Corp., came in response to the US State Department’s Sept. 2 approval to sell military equipment to Taiwan.
These sales include 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, of which the main contractors are Boeing Defense, a division of Boeing Company Raytheon.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said Colbert and Hayes would be punished “in order to protect China’s sovereignty and security interests,” citing their “involvement in these arms sales.”
Mao did not say what the sanctions would entail or how they would be implemented. Neither company sells defense products to China, but both have strong commercial aviation businesses there.
US defense procurement rules generally prohibit content of Chinese origin, so the sanctions have had no effect on the US military.
“The Chinese side once again urges the US government and related entities to … stop selling arms to Taiwan, Taiwan and Taiwan’s military communications.”
The Pentagon announced the package in the wake of China’s aggressive military exercises around Taiwan following a visit last month by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to visit Taipei in years.
China previously imposed sanctions on Raytheon companies, Boeing Defense and unidentified individuals involved in arms sales to Taiwan.
A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment. Boeing declined to immediately comment, but said on Thursday it plans to renew marketing of some of the planes it has assigned to Chinese airlines as geopolitical tensions have delayed deliveries.
In December 2021, China agreed to bring the Boeing 737 Max back into service after it was grounded following two plane crashes that killed 346 people.
Despite the approval, Chinese airlines have not resumed flight of the MAX nor accepted delivery of the new MAX aircraft. The US government has previously accused the Chinese government of withholding tens of billions of dollars from Max shipments to China.
Before the Max was discontinued, Boeing was selling a quarter of the planes it built annually to Chinese buyers, its biggest customer.
Raytheon sells to China through its United Technologies engine business.
Friday’s announcement marks the first time Beijing has defined and imposed sanctions on individuals from these companies.
Beijing regards the self-governing island of Taiwan as a misguided province, which it has vowed to control by force if necessary.
Taiwan rejects China’s claims to sovereignty, saying only its people can decide its future, and vows to defend itself if attacked.