USA imposes sanctions on China for buying Russian weapons

US China,US sanctions China,Russia defence deal

CAATSA's clause 231, which stipulates the rules for forming the list, says any person taking part conscientiously in considerable transactions with any of the blacklisted individuals or organizations falls under US-imposed sanctions automatically.

The senior official stressed that CAATSA is not going to be implemented across the board, but that the USA was choosing Russia's sale of "bigger ticket items" of "new, fancy, qualitatively significant stuff" that could have a "security impact" on the United States.

Collin Koh, a security analyst at Singapore's S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the sanctions would do little to counter the evolving research and development relationship between China and Russian Federation.

"China is strongly outraged by this unreasonable action by the U.S.", Geng told reporters at a daily news briefing.

"We strongly urge the United States side to address this mistake and revoke so called sanctions otherwise it will need to shoulder all possible consequences", he said.

"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", Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement. "Playing with fire is stupid and can become unsafe".

The Trump administration also blacklisted a further 33 people and entities associated with Russian military and intelligence, adding them to a sanctions list under the 2017 law, Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA.

Twenty eight of them have already been indicted by Robert Mueller, who is investigating election meddling by Russian Federation.

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"The US actions have seriously violated the basic principles of worldwide relations and seriously damaged the relations between the two countries and the two militaries", Geng said.

The official declined to answer if the USA would take similar action if Russian Federation delivers S400 missiles to other countries such as Turkey, which is in talks to buy them.

"It appears that it has become a sort of national pastime there", he added, noting the latest round of anti-Russian measures was the 60th since 2011.

For all of Russia's seemingly upbeat rhetoric the new measures can hurt the country's struggling economy.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement it seemed to Moscow that imposing sanctions on Russia had become a national US pastime, noting that the latest wave of restrictions was the 60th sanctions package since 2011.

In 2017, Russian Federation sold around £11.3billion (US$15 billion) of weapons to China. EDD and its director, Li Shangfu, were hit with sanctions because of the purchases made from Rosoboronexport, Russia's main arms export entity already on the Caatsa blacklist for its support of the Assad regime in Syria. "CAATSA sanctions in this context are not meant to undermine the defense capabilities of any particular country", the official told reporters on a conference call.

"You can be confident that we have spent an enormous amount of time talking about prospective purchases of things such as S-400s and Sukhois with people all around the world who may have been interested in such things and some who may still be", the United States official added.

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