The Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday that China will impose sanctions on US firms selling weapons to the island of Taiwan. The announcement made a splash in the US. A US State Department spokesperson said on Monday it will “closely monitor any actions that would unfairly disadvantage US firms” while tried to find excuses for the arms sale to the island.
Although China hasn’t released details of sanctions, the US feels the pressure. According to VOA Chinese, US Representative Ted Yoho said in the past 40 years US presidents have approved 86 arms sales to the island of Taiwan, implying that China should get used to that and not overreact. However, what’s wrong is wrong. The world has no reason to adapt to wrongness.
The third joint communiqué between China and the US signed on August 17, 1982 demanded the US to gradually reduce its arms sales to Taiwan until the issue is completely resolved.
But Washington violated the communiqué by repeatedly expanding its arms sales to the island. This has had a destructive impact on cross-Straits peace.
If the US insists on doing so, the Chinese mainland is destined to adopt increasingly resolute countermeasures against it.
The US attaches more importance to China’s recently announced sanctions on US firms selling arms to the island of Taiwan than before, because China is growing stronger. We are more capable of safeguarding our national interests and launching precise counterattacks on entities that harm China’s interests and national security.
We are no longer in the era in which only the US can impose sanctions on Chinese enterprises but not vice versa. China announced on May 31 the establishment of an “Unreliable Entity List” to prevent China’s interests from being jeopardized by US firms. Regardless of how much we can punish relevant US companies, China has made itself clear and heard. The game between China and US is now bilateral rather than unilateral.
US weapons companies that participate in arms sales to Taiwan have to pay the price, now or later. They have reaped handsome profits by selling outdated but overpriced equipment to Taiwan. These weapons dealers have become the major promoter, as well as biggest beneficiary of US arms sales to Taiwan.
Some Chinese doubt the effect of sanctioning US weapons companies, but the actual result may not be what they think.
The four US arms companies involved this time can’t turn a blind eye to the Chinese market. For example, General Dynamics owns the world’s largest business jet maker – Gulfstream Aerospace – of which China is the third largest market. Aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicles produced by Oshkosh Corporation are used in more than 60 airports in China.
Sanctioning US companies that undermine China’s national interests will serve as a warning to other American companies which may do the same thing. In the long run, individuals who harm China’s interests and cross the legal redline could also be the target of China’s sanctions. These people should take note.