China said Monday that it has decided to impose sanctions on U.S. defense entities including Lockheed Martin Corp., in retaliation for Washington's arms sales to Taiwan.

Boeing Co.'s defense unit and Raytheon Technologies Corp. as well as individuals involved in the U.S. arms exports to the democratic island will be also punished, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters, but he did not elaborate what kind of sanctions will be levied against them.

China will "continue to implement necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and security interests," Zhao said.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government said it approved the sale of three weapons packages to Taiwan for a total of $1.8 billion, a move that has added further tension to souring relations between the world's two major powers.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since they split during a civil war in 1949. Beijing, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province, has since endeavored to bring the self-governed island into its fold.

Washington, meanwhile, switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has been boosting ties with the island by taking actions such as sending high-ranking officials to Taiwan.

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