China, Russia warn US of consequences over sanctions

22 September, 2018, 18:45 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • US slaps Chinese arms procurer with sanctions for buying advanced Russian weapons

The sanctions, part of a sweeping law punishing Moscow for interfering in the 2016 US election, see China censured for buying fighter jets and missile systems from Russian Federation.

The State Department announced in a statement on Thursday that China's Equipment Development Department and its director, Li Shangfu, made a "significant transaction" involving Russian combat aircraft and surface-to-air missiles from Rosoboronexport, Russia's main arms exporter, which contravenes a us sanctions bill signed in 2017.

All of them - defense related firms, officers of the GRU military intelligence agency, and people associated with the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency disinformation group - have been on previous U.S. sanctions lists and 28 of them have already been indicted by Russian Federation election meddling investigator Robert Mueller.

All of them - defense related firms, officers of the GRU military intelligence agency, and people associated with the Saint Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency disinformation group - have been on previous USA sanctions lists.

Moscow also warned that the United States was "playing with fire" and that the measures aimed at Russian Federation and China undermined global stability.

"China expresses strong indignation at these unreasonable actions by the USA side and has already lodged stern representations", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing, adding the moved seriously harmed bilateral relations and military ties.

Beijing has not joined in the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the U.S. and its Western allies since 2014. Moscow denies any effort to meddle in USA politics.

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

"CAATSA sanctions in this context are not meant to undermine the defence capabilities of any particular country".

For many years, China was Russia's biggest military client, relying on Moscow for advanced weapons and adapting some of the technology for its own systems.

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

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at toughening Washington's sanctions against Russian Federation. "They are instead aimed at imposing costs upon Russian Federation in response to its malign activities".

"This is unfair competition, dishonest competition, an attempt to use non-market methods that run counter to norms and principles of global trade to squeeze the main competitor of US makers out of the markets", said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

CAATSA, or the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, was passed in 2017 as a tool that gives the Trump administration more ways to target Russia, Iran and North Korea with economic and political sanctions.

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.

When asked about the sanctions' possible impact on US-China military relations, Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan told the South China Morning Post that "the Department of Defense won't speculate on potential impacts these sanctions could have on mil-mil relations". It can target stealth warplanes, such as the Pentagon's latest F-35 fighter jet.

United States officials said that the U.S. could consider similar action against other countries taking delivery of Russian fighter jets and missiles.



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