USA sanctions Chinese military unit for buying Russian arms

Su-35 fighter jet purchased by Russia ordered by Indonesia

Withdraw the sanctions or "bear the consequences".

China has urged the United States to withdraw punitive sanctions imposed on the Chinese military over its purchase of fighter jets and missiles from Russian Federation or "bear the consequences".

On Thursday, the State Department announced that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had imposed sanctions "on the Chinese entity Equipment Development Department and its director, Li Shangfu" for "engaging in significant transactions" with people on the department's List of Specified Persons.

After months of deliberation, the USA on Thursday announced sanctions against the Chinese military agency that made the purchases, as well as its director. The agency and director Li have been added to a Blocked Persons List.

It is the first time the Trump administration targeted a third country with its Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA), created to punish Russian Federation for its seizure of Crimea and other activities.

These "malign acts" range from Russia's annexation of Crimea and its participation in the Ukrainian and Syrian wars, to its meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"The Chinese side expresses strong indignation over the above-mentioned unreasonable practices of the U.S. side", foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told journalists.

"We strongly urge the USA to immediately correct their mistake and withdraw their so-called sanctions, otherwise the USA will have to bear the consequences", Geng warned.

"We strongly call on the U.S. to remedy the mistake and cancel the sanctions".

China will continue to work with Russian Federation to promote strategic co-operation at an even higher level, he said. US President Donald Trump made a decision to hit Beijing with tariffs, claiming there was unfair competition and intellectual property theft by China.

A federal special counsel is leading a criminal investigation of Russian interference in the USA election, and any possible cooperation with Trump's presidential campaign.

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Trump has insisted there was no collusion with Russian Federation, although there is no federal crime of collusion to begin with. Moscow denies any effort to meddle in us politics.

Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, seen in April, said Friday it's hard to keep up with the increasing sanction notices from the US administration.

"Caatsa sanctions in this context are not meant to undermine the defence capabilities of any particular country" but are "aimed at imposing costs on Russian Federation in response to its malign activities". "But rather to impose costs on Russian Federation in response to its interference in the United States election process, its unacceptable behaviour in eastern Ukraine, and other malign activities".

"These transactions involved Russia's transfer to China of [Russian Sukhoi] Su-35 combat aircraft and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment". "I am sure that these contracts will be executed in line with the schedule", said Franz Klintsevich, according to BBC. "The possession of this military equipment is very important for China".

"China bought 24 Su-35s because the People's Liberation Army needs long-range fighter jets to deploy in the South China Sea", Zhou said. "It appears that it has become a sort of national pastime there", Ryabkov said.

Beijing-based military analyst Zhou Chenming said China still needed Russia's help to modernise its armed forces.

"The ultimate target of these sanctions is Russian Federation", a senior U.S. administration official told journalists, insisting on anonymity.

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.

"This is a significant step", the administration official said.

He declined to answer a question whether the United States would be taking similar action against countries, like Turkey, that buy S-400 missile defence system. It can target stealth warplanes, such as the Pentagon's latest F-35 fighter jet.

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