US sanctions Chinese military unit for buying Russian jets, missiles

Capitol Hill in Washington DC. The committee held a hearing on

US hits China with sanctions for buying Russian fighter jets and missiles

Pompeo, in consultation with Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, imposed sanctions on the Chinese military's Equipment Development Department and its director, Li Shangfu, for purchasing Su-35 combat aircraft and a S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russian Federation.

Reacting to the United States move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, "China is strongly outraged by this unreasonable action of the U.S. and lodged stern representations".

"We strongly urge the immediately correct its mistakes and revoke the so-called sanctions". Beijing's decision to purchase Russian Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile system drew Washington's ire.

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese military on Thursday for buying fighter jets and missile systems from Russian Federation, in breach of a sweeping US sanctions law punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 USA election. Moscow denies any effort to meddle in us politics.

The US has sanctioned the Chinese military for buying Russian fighter planes and missiles, and blacklisted more than 30 Russians, most of whom have been indicted for their role in Moscow's effort to subvert the 2016 US election.

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The US Department of State said the sanctions were invoked under Section 231 of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 "for engaging in significant transactions with persons on the [List of Specified Persons]".

"The ultimate target of these sanctions is Russian Federation", a senior administration official told journalists.

In particular, this refers to Executive Order 13660 of March 6, 2014 (imposition of sanctions for the actions of the Russian Federation in Crimea, "that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets), as well as further orders that extended the range of application of the first package of Crimean sanctions. It's meant to impose appropriate pressures on Russia in response to Russian malign acts", the official said.

Though India's purchase of the Russian missiles would violate sanctions under the Caatsa, lawmakers have allowed the possibility of a presidential waiver for certain countries on a case by case basis. "The possession of this military equipment is very important for China".

"The imposition of US sanctions will have zero impact on Russian arms sales to China", said Ian Storey, of Singapore's ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.

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"The US has seriously violated the basic norms of global relations and disturbed the relationship between China and the US".

China relies less on large big-ticket purchases from Russian Federation, but Chinese defense industries are seeking expertise from Russian Federation and former-Soviet states to plug knowledge gaps, he said.

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.

"The Chinese side expresses strong indignation over the above-mentioned unreasonable practices of the U.S. side", Geng said at the regular MFA regular press briefing. Turkey has been warned by the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation that there could be consequences for its planned deployment of Russia's S-400 missile defence system.

China recently bought 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles.

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"We will continue to vigorously implement CAATSA and urge all countries to curtail relationships with Russia's defence and intelligence sectors, both of which are linked to malign activities worldwide", it said.

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