China ‘outraged’ by US sanctions over Russian weapons buy

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement that China's Equipment Development Department and director Li Shangfu made a "significant transaction" involving the purchase of Su-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018.

"We strongly urge the United States to immediately correct their mistake and withdraw their so-called sanctions, otherwise the U.S. will have to bear the consequences".

The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which was passed in 2017 to target dealings with Russia, Iran and North Korea, has been met with widespread criticism in the global community.

"The US approach is a blatant violation of the basic norms of worldwide relations, a full manifestation of hegemony, and a serious breach of the relations between the two countries and their two militaries", Wu said in a notice posted on the Chinese defence ministry's official Wechat account.

The US official said Washington had spent "an enormous amount of time" seeking to discourage prospective buyers of Russian arms.


"Today's actions are not meant to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of any country", the State Department said in a statement Thursday, "but rather to impose costs on Russian Federation in response to its interference in the United States election process, its unacceptable behavior in eastern Ukraine, and other malign activities".

One senior administration official quoted in a transcript of the briefing noted that this was the first time the USA has ever sanctioned entities under this specific law and that the goal was to punish Russian Federation, not China.

U.S. officials said it was the first time a third country has been punished under the CAATSA sanctions legislation for dealing with Russian Federation, signalling Donald Trump's administration will risk relations with other countries in its campaign against Moscow.

The US will be adding 33 more people to its black list, some of whom have been indicted for interfering in the 2016 presidential election by hacking Democratic targets.

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