China on Friday urged the United States to withdraw sanctions imposed on its military for buying fighter jets and missile systems from Russia, Reuters reported. US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday authorising the sanctions to be implemented.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the comments at a daily news briefing in Beijing.
The US Department of State in a statement said the actions were 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.”
The sanctions relate to China’s recent purchase of 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles, according to BBC. Beijing has not joined in the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US and its allies since 2014.
The State Department said it would immediately impose sanctions on China’s Equipment Development Department, a branch of the Chinese military responsible for weapons and equipment, and its director, Li Shangfu, for engaging in “significant transactions” with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms exporter, Reuters reported.
The sanctions will block the Chinese agency and Li from applying for export licences and participating in the US financial system. It also adds them to the Treasury Department’s list of specially designated individuals with whom Americans are barred from doing business.
The US has also blacklisted an additional 33 people and entities associated with Russian military and intelligence under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.
‘Playing with fire,’ says Russia
The anti-Russian sanctions targeting China and other countries undermined global stability, Moscow said, according to AFP.
“It would be good for them to remember there is such a concept as global stability which they are thoughtlessly undermining by whipping up tensions in Russian-American ties,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “Playing with fire is silly, it can become dangerous.”
Ryabkov added: “We recommend that Washington’s operators of the sanctions machine at least superficially acquaint themselves with our history to stop going round in circles.”
“The numerous American ‘black lists’ increasingly repeat each other. It is funny but it is so,” he said, adding that this was 60th round of anti-Russia measures by the US since 2011. “It appears that it has become a sort of national pastime there,” Ryabkov said.
A Russian MP said the US sanctions will have no impact on the sales of its fighter jets and missiles. “I am sure that these contracts will be executed in line with the schedule,” said Franz Klintsevich, according to BBC.