Beijing will put sanctions on US defence corporation Lockheed Martin over the latest US arms sale deal with Taiwan, China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The contract in question - a $620 million upgrade package for Taiwan's Patriot surface-to-air missiles - was approved on Thursday. Lockheed Martin is the main contractor in the arms sale deal.
Addressing the issue of the contested South China Sea, the ministry's spokesman Zhao Lijian told the press that the United States is undermining peace and stability in the region.
US dealings with Taiwan and the issue of the South China Sea are just two of the points of contention in US-China relations.
Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan’s government claims China as the heir to the pre-Communist government under the ‘one China’ policy. Beijing has been highly critical of Washington's arms deal with Taipei, threatening sanctions on multiple occasions.
The South China Sea has also been a sticking point in US-China ties, as Beijing has been disputing the status of a number of territories in the region that it lays claim to, primarily the Paracel and Spratly Islands, as well as the Scarborough Shoal.
In recent years, the US has been deploying its naval forces to the islands. Despite protests from Beijing, Washington has maintained that its ships will sail everywhere permitted by international law.