China announced sanctions against Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon today for last week’s US government arms sales approvals to Taiwan worth $1.8 Billion.

The sanctions are merely symbolic and unlikely to have any effect on the three companies as it buys no arms from them nor does it sell them any parts or systems.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are among the list of US businesses and individuals that will face Chinese sanctions over arm sales to China’s Taiwan, announced Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday.

“To safeguard China’s national interests, the central government decided to take necessary measures to impose sanctions on U.S. entities participating in the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense and Raytheon,” Zhao told reporters at Monday’s daily press briefing

US entities and individuals with egregious records in arm sales (to Taiwan) will also be sanctioned, Zhao added without specifying how many in total.

Last week, China strong objected against the arm sales and warned of a “necessary response.” On October 21, the U.S. approved a potential sale of HIMRAR artillery rocket system, SLAM_ER land attack missile and a targeting pod that could have a total value of $1.8 billion.

China had earlier threatened to stop export of rare earth metals used in the Aerospace industry, to the US as part of its policy to pressure Washington against supplying arms to Taiwan. However, in a surprising turn, China has agreed to buy two types of rare earth metals from the US as part of an initial trade deal with the US signed this January.

The agreement, signed in Washington by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US President Donald Trump, gives China two years to ramp up purchases of hundreds of U.S. products, including scandium and yttrium, two of the 17 rare earths commonly used in lighting and computers.

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