China is to sanction five US military suppliers over arms sales deals with Taiwan, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Sunday.
The US State Department last month approved $300 million sale of equipment to help maintain Taiwan’s tactical information systems.
Beijing said in a statement the recent arms sales “seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, seriously jeopardise peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.
The companies to be that will be sanctioned are BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Alliant Techsystems Operations, AeroVironment, Viasat and Data Link Solutions.
China will freeze the assets of these companies and ban people or organisations in China from engaging them, the spokesperson said.
The US embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
US arms sales to Taiwan are a frequent source of tension between Washington and Beijing. China views democratically governed Taiwan as its territory, a claim Taiwan’s government rejects.
The sanctions come ahead of Taiwan’s January 13 presidential and parliamentary elections, which China has cast as a choice between war and peace.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara