China has threatened to impose sanctions on US companies involved in a massive arms deal with Taiwan, and accused the US of interference in domestic affairs after the State Department approved the biggest sale of arms to the island in decades. The $8 billion deal involves 66 F-16 jets built by Lockheed Martin.
The F-16 deal follows another $2 billion deal in July 2019 which included 108 Abrams battle tanks built in a factory operated by General Dynamics, and 250 stinger missiles. The July deal also drew a similar response from China, demanding the US immediately cancel the order.
Analysts told NPR that the threat of sanctions won’t have a significant impact, because the companies involved “don’t do a whole lot of business in China.”
Taiwan relies heavily on the US for military equipment. The Chinese government considers the self-governing island a breakaway province that it will one day reclaim.