China issues new details on sanctions against Raytheon and Lockheed, potentially cutting off rare earth minerals to the U.S. defense industry
By Ethan Huff // Apr 20, 2023

For supplying weapons to Taiwan, United States war corporations Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies Corp. have been sanctioned by communist China as the conflict between it and the West escalates.

In a statement issued this week, China's Ministry of Commerce announced that the sanctions include a ban on both imports and exports by the two companies to and from China in order "to prevent Chinese products from being used in their military bases."

The Chinese government agency further added that Chinese companies should "strengthen their due diligence and compliance system construction to verify transaction information," and make sure to never knowingly conduct business with either Lockheed or Raytheon while importing, exporting, or transporting products.

While it remains unknown exactly what penalties might be attached to violations of this order, it is clear that Lockheed and Raytheon will likely feel the pinch in their bottom line. The U.S. already bars most sales of weapons-related technology to China, but some military contractors do own civilian businesses in aerospace and other markets, which makes the new ban tricky and potentially even more impactful.

(Related: During covid, China was the first, and as far as we know only, country in the world that was swabbing people's anuses in search of coronavirus.)

China aims to stop U.S. from equipping Taiwan with weapons of war

Last fall, Raytheon Missiles & Defense was the recipient of a nearly half a billion-dollar contract ($412 million) to upgrade Taiwanese military radar as part of a massive $1.1 billion taxpayer-funded package of U.S. arms sales to the island, which, though being self-governed, has been claimed by China.

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It turns out that Taiwan gets most of its weapons from the U.S., its biggest unofficial ally. China is growing weary of this alliance, and as of late has been sending fighter jets and warships toward the island to surround it in acts of military pressure and intimidation.

The situation has further come to a head as far as U.S. defense contractors are concerned with China prohibiting the senior executives of both Lockheed and Raytheon from traveling to the country for work or otherwise.

Listed as barred from China are Lockheed Martin CEO James Donald Taiclet, COO Frank Andrew St. John and CFO Jesus Malave, and President Wesley D. Kremer and Vice Presidents Agnes Soeder and Chander Nijhon from Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

"How is China going to enforce this sanction because Taiwan (province of China) will be importing billions of dollars in defense equipment from Raytheon and Lockheed?" one commenter wrote on a Chinese state-run media article about the conflict. "China going to blockade and confiscate the illegal shipments to Taiwan (province of China)?"

"This is funny because now USA programs may be crippled without raw materials," wrote another about how all China has to do to respond is cut the U.S. off from access to its rare earth mineral supplies. "Without rare earth, I cannot guess what kinds of weapons they can produce."

"Raytheon and Lockheed will need to award themselves a badge of honor for being on China's sanctioned list," wrote someone else. "Perhaps the U.S. should block all access on advanced semiconductors of dual use."

Another wrote that the impact of this could be far-reaching, seeing as how all sorts of companies that do business with Raytheon and / or Lockheed also do business in China.

"Any company that does business with these companies will not be allowed to do business with China," this person wrote. "For example, Boeing has one-fourth of its aircraft market in China. I guess they are trembling."

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