It’s personal: China sanctions Boeing, Raytheon execs over Taiwan arm sales

Chief Executive Officers of Boeing Defense, Space and Security and Raytheon have been sanctioned by China. 

Specifics of the sanctions were not laid out; however, they pertain to Boeing’s Ted Colbert and Raytheon’s Gregory Hayes personally. 

The sanctions were announced in a press conference by Mao Ning, the spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry.

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Citing US’ latest $1.1 billion arms sale to Taiwan, Ning said the sanctions were imposed "in order to protect China's sovereignty and security interests,” according to Reuters. 

Not the first time 

The sale, conducted in early September 2022, included upgrades to Taiwan’s early radar warning system, manufactured by Raytheon, as well as anti-ship and air-to-air missiles by Boeing. 

Both companies have a long history of delivering weapons to Taiwan. Some deals date back to the First Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958, which saw the combat debut of the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, built by Raytheon. 

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Previously, there have been numerous instances of China threatening Raytheon and Boeing, as well as other US  aerospace companies such as Lockheed Martin, with sanctions. Such announcements followed arms sales to Taiwan earlier in 2022, 2020, 2019, 2015 and 2010.  

The results of these sanctions are not entirely clear. While some of them prevented Chinese companies from dealing with American arms manufacturers, neither Boeing nor Raytheon are selling or purchasing defensive equipment to or from China.

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Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes division saw a steady fall in sales in China over the last several years, a result of both problems with the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and the rise of China’s domestic aircraft manufacturing industry. However, the company continues operating numerous plants in China and is building new ones.

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