China on Saturday summoned United States ambassador in Beijing to inform him that joint military talks has been postponed as part of its protest against Washington’s decision to sanction a Chinese military agency and its director, Reuters reported. Beijing warned of “further consequences” if the sanctions were not revoked.
On Thursday, the United States State Department said it would immediately impose sanctions on China’s Equipment Development Department and its director, Li Shangfu, for engaging in “significant transactions” with Russia’s main arms exporter Rosoboronexport. The transactions include China’s purchase of Russian fighter jets and a surface-to-air missile system.
Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned Ambassador Terry Branstad to lodge “stern representations”, Beijing said. China’s Defence Ministry said it will recall Navy chief Shen Jinlong from a visit to the United States and postpone bilateral discussions that were scheduled for next week.
China’s Defence Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said the purchase was a routine act of cooperation between sovereign countries, and that the United States had “no right to interfere”. “The US approach is a blatant violation of the basic norms of international relations,” Wu said in a notice posted on the ministry’s official Wechat account.