US sanctions China for buying Russian fighter jets, missiles

Hugh Fox
September 22, 2018

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing had lodged stern complaints with Washington over the action, which triggers a ban on entering the US, forbids conducting transactions with the USA financial system and forces the blocking of all property and interests in property within USA jurisdiction. US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday authorising the sanctions to be implemented.

This year's U.S. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) grants the Trump administration authority to waive mandatory sanctions under CAATSA in certain circumstances pertaining to Russian legacy military systems that costs less than $15 million.

The EDD and Mr Li have been added to a Blocked Persons List, meaning any assets they hold in the United States are frozen and Americans are "generally prohibited" from doing business with them. Geng called the sanctions 'unreasonable, ' saying the transactions with Russian Federation didn't break any global laws.

He says the USA will have to "take all the consequences" if it ignores China's demands.

The U.S. has slapped sanctions on the Chinese military over China's relationship with Russian Federation.

"Each new round of sanctions proves our foe's complete lack of success in pressuring Russian Federation with previous such attempts", said Ryabkov, who added that Washington would never succeed in dictating its conditions to Moscow.

Russian member of parliament Franz Klintsevich said earlier the sanctions would not affect the S-400 and SU-35 deals.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Russia would act to end its dependency on the US dollar.

Alexander Gabuev, head of the Russian Federation in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said the new USA measures could bring Moscow and Beijing even closer.

The purchase violated a 2017 law meant to punish the government of President Vladimir Putin for interfering in USA elections and other activities.

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

They also restrict EDD's access to global financial markets by blocking foreign exchange transactions under United States jurisdiction or any transactions in the U.S. financial system. However, under strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it has more recently grown closer to Russian Federation - including ordering the very same S-400s that landed China in hot water this week.

With regard to Russia, CAATSA arises from the country's "aggression in Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, cyber intrusions and attacks, interference in the 2016 elections, and other malign activities", the State Department said.

Turkey is in talks regarding the purchase of S-400 missiles from Russian Federation and India has also expressed interest in purchasing S-400s, moves which the U.S. opposes.

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

Describing it as a "significant transactions", administration officials held out the threat that India too could come under sanctions if it continued with big ticket Russian arms purchases, although the administration has acquired waiver powers to spare allies and friends such as India from sanctions, and officials have indicated the USA will find a way to spare New Delhi the blushes.

China's Foreign Ministry asked the U.S.to reconsider the sanctions.

The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (Caatsa) was passed in 2017 to provide the Trump administration with the necessary means to target Russia, Iran and North Korea with economic and political sanctions.

Washington has expressed concern that Turkey's planned deployment of the S-400s could pose a risk to the security of some USA -made weapons and other technology used by Turkey, including the F-35 fighter jet.

"We hope that this step will send a signal of our seriousness and perhaps encourage others to think twice about their own engagement with the Russian defence and intelligence sectors", the senior official said.

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