On Thursday, Washington imposed sanctions on Chinese military for purchasing ten SU-25 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia, in breach of a sweeping U.S. sanctions law punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
In response, Beijing warned the US to “bear the consequences” of their actions and demanded that sanctions be withdrawn.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing, “China expresses strong indignation at these unreasonable actions by the U.S. side and has already lodged stern representations.”
“We strongly urge the U.S. side to immediately correct the mistake and rescind the so-called sanctions, otherwise the U.S. side will necessarily bear responsibility for the consequences,” he said, without giving details.
The US State Department stated that it would also sanction China’s Equipment Development Department (EDD), the military branch handling weapons and equipment, and its director, Li Shangfu, for engaging in “significant transactions” with Russia’s main arms exporter, Rosoboronexport.
Li and EDD have been blocked from applying for export licenses and engaging with the US financial system. They are also barred from doing business with Americans.
An additional 33 people and institutions have also been blacklisted due to their association with Russian military and intelligence. This move is covered by the 2017 law, known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA.
A U.S administration official told reporters, “The ultimate target of these sanctions is Russia. CAATSA sanctions in this context are not intended to undermine the defense capabilities of any particular country. They are instead aimed at imposing costs upon Russia in response to its malign activities.”
On Friday, Russia stated that the new wave of U.S sanctions is misguided. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said “Each new round of sanctions proves our foe’s complete lack of success in pressuring Russia with previous such attempts.”
“It would be not bad if they remembered about the concept of global stability which they are unthinkingly undermining by whipping up tensions in Russia-U.S. relations. Playing with fire is stupid and can become dangerous.”