On Thursday, the US slapped sanctions on China’s military Equipment Development Department (EDD) after Beijing bought 10 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles from Russian blacklisted operatives.
The US State Department said in a statement: «Today’s actions are not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of any country — but rather to impose costs on Russia in response to its interference in the United States election process, its unacceptable behaviour in eastern Ukraine, and other malign activities.»
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has imposed sanctions on the EDD and its director, Li Shangfu, adding him to the US blacklist.
The EDD’s export licences will be revoked, and it will be ousted from the American financial system.
All Mr Shangfu’s US assets will be put on hold, and any Americans are barred from doing business with him.
This is the first time the US has issued penalties under Caasta — Section 231 of the US law which prevents individuals from doing business with anyone placed on the blacklist.
A senior administration official said: «The ultimate target of these sanctions is Russia.
«Caatsa sanctions in this context are not intended to undermine the defence capabilities of any particular country but are aimed at imposing costs on Russia in response to its malign activities.”
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.
However, a politician in Moscow said the sanctions would not affect Russian sales of military weapons to other countries.
Franz Klintsevich, a Russian member of parliament, told Russia’s Interfax news agency: «I am sure that these contracts will be executed in line with the schedule.
«The possession of this of this military equipment is very important for China.»
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press conference on Friday: «(The sanctions) have severely violated the basic norms of international relations and damaged the relations between the two countries and two militaries.
«We strongly urge the US side to correct the mistakes immediately and revoke the so-called sanctions. Otherwise the US has to bear the consequences of it.»
In 2017, Russia sold around £11.3billion (US$15 billion) of weapons to China.
Russia is the world’s second biggest importer behind the US, and account for more than half of global arms exports, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said.