U.S. sanctions Chinese military unit for buying Russian jets, missiles

Kevin Frayer  Getty Chinese soldiers march in formation in Beijing

The latest round of military sanctions by the USA against China deepens the diplomatic hostility between the world's two largest economies already grappling with the escalating tit-for-tat trade tariff war.

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.

They also restrict EDD's access to global financial markets by blocking foreign exchange transactions under USA jurisdiction or any transactions in the United States financial system.

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

CAATSA also seeks to punish Russian Federation for its aggression in Ukraine and involvement in Syria's civil war.

"The ultimate target of these sanctions is Russian Federation", a senior administration official told journalists, insisting on anonymity.

In practice, this provision means CAATSA presupposed the application of United States restrictive measures to third countries cooperating with Russia's defense manufacturing sector and intelligence organizations. "They are instead aimed at imposing costs upon Russian Federation in response to its malign activities", he said.

He declined to answer a question whether the U.S. would be taking similar action against countries, like Turkey, that buy S-400 missile defence system.

A politician in Moscow said the U.S. sanctions would 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", Klintsevich was quoted as saying by Russia's Interfax news agency.

"The possession of this of this military equipment is very important for China", he added.

"So while decisions on other cases have yet to be made, and indeed other transactions have yet to occur, we hope that at least 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, which would of course be precisely what we hope Congress intended, and what we are required to do pursuant to the fact", the official said.

"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.

Asked whether China would continue its close intelligence and defence cooperation with Russia, Geng said, "China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination".

US President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Thursday meant to allow the sanctions to be implemented.

Similar action against other countries would be considered, Washington added.

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 USA opposes.

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