WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China summoned the U.S. charge d’affaires in Beijing to protest against the U.S. administration’s authorization of $1.83 billion arms sales to Taiwan and said it would impose sanctions on the firms involved, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported.
“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. China strongly opposes the U.S. arms sale to Taiwan,” Xinhua quoted Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang, who summoned U.S. charge Kaye Lee, as saying.
Xinhua said Zheng described the U.S. sales authorization announced on Wednesday as going against international law and basic norms of international relations and said that they “severely” harmed China’s sovereignty and security.
“To safeguard our national interests, China has decided to take necessary measures, including imposing sanctions against the companies involved in the arms sale,” Zheng said.
The U.S. State Department said Raytheon RTN.N and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) were the main contractors for weapons in the sales authorized on Wednesday.
It was not clear what impact Chinese actions might have on the firms.
In 2013, Lockheed Martin signed an agreement with the Thailand-based Reignwood Group to build a 10-megawatt offshore plant to provide energy for a new luxury resort on Hainan island in southern China.
Reporting by David Brunnstrom and David Alexander; Editing by Eric Beech and Lisa Shumaker