Oct. 26 (UPI) -- China said Monday it will sanction three U.S. defense contractors over $1.8 billion in potential Taiwan arms sales, including missiles that can strike the mainland.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday that Beijing will impose sanctions against Boeing's defense division, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies, along with other U.S. entities involved in the $1.8 billion arms deal.
Lijian added during a press conference that the three U.S. defense contractors and other individuals and entities that "played a bad role" in the arms deal would be punished.
"In order to safeguard national interests, China decided to impose sanctions on the American companies that were involved in arms sales to Tawian," Zhao told reporters.
The U.S. State Department approved two arms deals last week to potentially sell 135 Boeing-made missiles, Lockheed Martin-made rocket launchers, and surveillance and reconnaissance sensors from Raytheon Technologies to Taiwan.
Taiwan has been governed independently from China since 1949, but Beijing still views the island as part of its territory, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. The Trump administration has boosted military support of Taiwan over Chinese objections, escalating tensions with Beijing.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the acquisition would serve Taiwan "as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense."
Beijing previously said it would sanction Lockheed Martin over its role in a $620 million deal in July that would allow Taiwan to upgrade its Patriot missile defenses.