China blacklists 2 US defense companies over arms sales to Taiwan

China on Thursday blacklisted two US defense companies over selling arms to Taiwan, state-run media reported.

In a statement, China’s Commerce Ministry said it will add US defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon to an unreliable entity list for participating in arms sales to the island of Taiwan, Global Times reported.

"The firms are banned from trade activities involving China," said the ministry.

Last week, the Biden administration blacklisted six Chinese companies that are tied to Beijing's surveillance-balloon program in retaliation for a suspected spy balloon that flew above the US.

The Commerce Department added the companies to the sanction list for supporting military modernization efforts, specifically those related to aerospace programs, including airships and balloons and related materials and components.

The companies will be restricted from obtaining US items and technologies without US government authorization.

A war of words continues between Washington and Beijing after a fighter jet shot down the suspected balloon earlier this month off the coast of the state of South Carolina.

China downplayed the incident saying the balloon was used for "research, mainly meteorological, purposes" and had blown off course.

Source: AA

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