China's sanctions against the U.S. arms companies are justified
Andrew Korybko

Editor's Note: Andrew Korybko is a Moscow-based American political analyst. The article reflects the author's views and not necessarily those of CGTN.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian announced on Monday that his country will sanction members of the U.S. military-industrial complex that are involved in America's planned arms sales to Taiwan. The companies that he highlighted are Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. This is an entirely justifiable decision which shows that China will defend its national interests against acts of aggression and provocation.

The U.S. policy of "military diplomacy," which refers to America's use of military means to promote its political interests abroad, is destabilizing the world. It wants to sell arms to a region which the vast majority of the international community, including the U.S. itself, recognizes as an integral part of China. Trump seems to be calculating, albeit wrongly, that this move will win him the support of on-the-fence voters, as well as advance America's grand strategy of attempting to "contain" China.

This planned move arguably isn't in the U.S. best interests, nor the rest of the world's for that matter. This makes one wonder whether elements of its permanent military, intelligence and diplomatic bureaucracies might be behind this provocation in order to promote their own business interests. The military-industrial complex has been criticized for decades, most notably by former President Eisenhower, due to the inordinate influence that it wields over American foreign policy, which has only grown in the decades since.

By standing up to the U.S. military-industrial complex, China is showing the rest of the world that it won't tolerate such subversive actions aimed at ruining bilateral relations. This could in turn inspire other countries to follow in its footsteps whenever America's practice of "military diplomacy" threatens to harm their interests as well. Companies which engage in these hostile schemes don't deserve the business of those countries that they threaten.

Seven F-16 fighter jets taxi on a runway in the Taiwan region. /Reuters

Seven F-16 fighter jets taxi on a runway in the Taiwan region. /Reuters

Nevertheless, the identified companies are veritably very important global players in this industry and the others that they participate in. Some countries might be reluctant to cut ties with them even if it's in their best interests to do so. Those states that might consider doing so should be reminded that the world isn't unipolar anymore and that alternatives exist in every sphere. They'd do well to undertake cost-benefit calculations regarding switching suppliers. At the very least, publicly flirting with that possibility might pressure members of the American military-industrial complex into reconsidering their destabilizing role in the U.S.' "military diplomacy." Profits are more important than principles to those entities. There's a chance that they might switch their strategy if they see that it'll harm their bottom line in crucial markets across the world. It's not guaranteed to succeed, but it's at least worth trying if other countries are offended by their actions.

All economic sectors are presently multipolar since monopoly is hard to achieve these days. Members of the American military-industrial complex have been taking their market positions for granted by assuming that their customers need them more than the reverse. But, it's actually the companies which need those customers. Boeing and the others will still survive even if they only service contracts from the U.S. government, but their global growth will be greatly impeded with reduce profits.

For that reason, those companies should also undertake cost-benefit calculations to see whether it's really worth going along with the U.S. provocative "military diplomacy" against their key customers, let alone speculatively initiating as much for reasons of their self-interest. Actions have, and it's about time that they realize that they can't harm other countries' national interests with impunity. China's justifiable sanctions therefore send a powerful message that others might soon follow.

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