China said on Friday that it would impose sanctions on American companies involved in the recently proposed sale of more than $2 billion in arms to Taiwan.
The move according to Al Jazeera could further strain ties between the two large powers, whose governments have been targeting each other’s businesses for punishment as a tariff war boils.
“The United States’ arms sales to Taiwan constitute a serious violation of international law and the norms governing international relations,” Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said on Friday, without offering specifics on how and when the American companies involved would be penalized.
According to reports, the United States is required to provide weapons for Taiwan’s defense under a law enacted in 1979, when Washington was shifting diplomatic relations to Beijing and away from Taipei, the island’s capital.
China has long viewed American arms sales to Taiwan as an affront to its sovereignty.
However, any sanctions from Beijing would not affect American defense contractors’ arms businesses, as American firms have been barred from selling weapons to mainland China since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
But sanctions could affect their nonmilitary sales in China.