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China Warns Of Consequences Unless US Sanctions Are Withdrawn


China has warned the United States will "bear the consequences" if it does not withdraw punishing financial sanctions it imposed on a key Chinese military organization for buying Russian fighter jets and missiles.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert announced Thursday that the Secretary of State imposed sanctions on the Chinese military's Equipment Development Department (EDD) and its director, Li Shangfu, "for engaging in significant transactions with Rosoboronexport," Russia's main arms export entity, which is on a U.S. blacklist.

China had purchased 10 Su-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and a first batch of S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018.

Washington imposed the sanctions under the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act," which was introduced to punish Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and alleged interference in U.S. politics.

The sanctions deny EDD of export licenses, prohibit foreign exchange transactions under U.S. jurisdiction and transactions with the US financial system. All these conditions are applicable to Li Shangfu, who also faces a visa ban.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it has lodged a stern complaint with Washington over the action.

"China is strongly outraged by this unreasonable action by the U.S.," Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a daily news briefing. "We strongly urge the U.S. to immediately correct its mistakes and revoke the so-called sanctions. Otherwise, it must take all the consequences."

A U.S. official said the sanctions were to punish Russia, not harm Beijing, while a politician in Moscow said the U.S. sanctions would have no impact on the sales of its fighter jets and missiles to China.

Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Russian lawmaker Franz Klintsevich as saying that "these contracts will be executed in line with the schedule."

China's continued collaboration with Russia in defense and economic fields has long been an irritant in the U.S.-China relationship.

The State Department also blacklisted an additional 33 people and entities associated with Russian military and intelligence.

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