China to sanction Lockheed Martin over Taiwan arms sale
BEIJING (Reuters) - China will sanction Lockheed Martin for involvement in the latest U.S. arms sale to Chinese-claimed Taiwan, Beijing said on Tuesday, adding tension to its troubled relationship with the United States. The U.S
BEIJING (Reuters) - China will sanction Lockheed Martin
The U.S. weapons maker is the main contractor for a $620 million upgrade package for Taiwan's Patriot surface-to-air missiles, which the U.S. government approved last week.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on the United States to stop selling weapons to Taiwan to "avoid further harming Sino-U.S. ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait".
"To safeguard the country's interests, China has decided to take necessary steps, and put sanctions on the main contractor for this sale, Lockheed Martin," Zhao told reporters, without giving details.
Lockheed Martin said in a statement: "Foreign Military Sales are government-to-government transactions and we work closely with the U.S. government on any military sales to international customers. Discussions about sales to foreign governments are best addressed by the U.S. government."
The United States, like most countries, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but Washington is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.
China has announced similar sanctions before on U.S. companies for Taiwan arms sales, though it is unclear what form they have taken.
The government in Taiwan has welcomed the missile upgrade. It is bolstering its defences for what it sees as increasingly threatening moves by Beijing, such as its regular air force and naval exercises near Taiwan.
Taiwan Defence Minister Yen Teh-fa, visiting troops during the annual Han Kuang military exercise on Tuesday, said they needed to be strong in the face of "all sorts of threats and provocations" from China.
"This tells our people and the Communists that we have the confidence and ability to protect our people and homeland," his ministry cited him as saying.
While Taiwan's military is well-trained and well-equipped with mostly U.S.-made hardware, China has huge numerical superiority and is adding advanced equipment of its own such as stealth fighters and new ballistic missiles.
(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Writing and additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Robert Birsel and Tom Hogue)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.