China and Russian Federation warn U.S. of consequences over sanctions

Charlene Craig
September 22, 2018

China is expressing outrage over us sanctions against a Chinese military agency and its director over the purchase of Russian weapons.

The State Department said it was applying the 2017 legislation against the Equipment Development Department of the Chinese Ministry of Defence for its purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missiles.

China has become less of an arms client and more of a cutting-edge defence technology partner with Russian Federation since it started developing more of its own weapons, military observers say. EDD and its director, Li Shangfu, were hit with sanctions because of the purchases made from Rosoboronexport, Russia's main arms export entity already on the Caatsa blacklist for its support of the Assad regime in Syria.

The sanctions trigger a ban on the individuals from entering the U.S., forbids them from transactions with the United States financial system and blocks all property that is within USA jurisdiction.

Sergei Ryabkov, deputy foreign minister, warned that the US was "playing with fire".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Beijing was "strongly outraged" over the decision and had logged several formal complaints.

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Doing significant business with anyone on the USA blacklist can trigger sanctions like those imposed on China. Moscow denies any effort to meddle in USA politics.

The new sanctions unveiled by the state department on Thursday will sharpen tensions with Beijing amid a brewing trade war - and further sour relations with Moscow.

At the same time, the State Department also announced it was placing 33 Russian intelligence and military-linked actors on its sanctions blacklist under the CAATSA rules.

That partnership was strengthened after US President Donald Trump listed both China and Russian Federation as American military rivals earlier this year, Shanghai-based satellite expert He Qisong said, adding that the partnership was growing on various fronts.

"CAATSA sanctions in this context are not meant to undermine the defense capabilities of any particular country". "The possession of this military equipment is very important for China". "They are aimed at imposing costs on Russian Federation in response to its malign activities".

"Both countries are opposed to what they see as USA bullying and these kind of actions will just push Beijing and Moscow even closer together", said Storey.

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"Sanctions are used as a weapon of unfair competition - all of this we perfectly remember from the situation with the Nord Stream 2", Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Upper House Committee for International Relations, said.

Turkey is in talks regarding the purchase of S-400 missiles from Russian Federation and India has also expressed interest in purchasing S-400s, moves which the United States opposes.

Members of Congress, including many of Trump's fellow Republicans, who passed the sanctions bill almost unanimously, have repeatedly called on the administration to take a harder line against Moscow.

A Russian MP said the USA sanctions will have no impact on the sales of its fighter jets and missiles.

With the same pen-stroke, the USA also blacklisted another 33 Russians who it said have been working for or on behalf of Russian defense or intelligence services. It can target stealth warplanes, such as the Pentagon's latest F-35 fighter jet.

"We hope that at least this step will send a signal of our seriousness and perhaps encourage others to think twice about their own engagement with the Russian defence and intelligence sectors", another USA official said.

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