Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

China warns USA to withdraw new sanctions or 'bear the consequences'

Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets fly in formation during a demonstration at the MAKS 2017 air show outside Moscow US hits China with sanctions for buying Russian fighter jets and missiles
Faye Gross | 22 September, 2018, 18:41

According to the US, China's purchase of Russian jets and surface-to-air missile equipment violated a 2017 law that was meant to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin's government for interfering in the 2016 US elections.

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese military on Thursday for buying fighter jets and missile systems from Russian Federation, in breach of a sweeping USA sanctions law punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 US election.

China has become less of an arms client and more of a cutting-edge defence technology partner with Russian Federation since it started developing more of its own weapons, military observers say. "This is for the first time that the U.S. has sanctioned anyone under Section 231 of CAATSA, which focuses upon, those who engage in significant transactions with entities that appear on the LSP (List of Specified Persons)", the official said.

They block the Chinese agency, and Li, from applying for export licences and participating in the USA financial system.

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

Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the comments at a daily news briefing in Beijing. "It would be not bad if they remembered about the concept of global stability which they are unthinkingly undermining by whipping up tensions in Russia-U.S. relations".

Given that the delivery of the S-400 systems is not expected for many years, the Trump administration may choose to ignore the conclusion of a sales agreement between the two countries next month and postpone any political sensitive decision that may detrimentally impact India-U.S. relations for the time being.

One State Department official, who briefed reporters and speaking on condition of anonymity, insisted that the China sanctions targeted Moscow only, not Beijing or its military.

Second shark attack at north Qld island
Rescuers were called to Cid Harbour at Whitsunday Island, near the Great Barrier Reef, and found the girl with leg injuries. On Wednesday, Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick was flown to Mackay Base Hospital after she was mauled on the leg by a shark.


The List of Specified Persons is a list of people or entities that the State Department has determined are either part of "or operating for or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation".

A federal special counsel is leading a criminal investigation of Russian interference in the United States election, and any possible cooperation with Trump's presidential campaign. "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. 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.

The US Department of State in a statement said the actions were not meant to "undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of any country".

USA officials said it was the first time a third country has been punished under the CAATSA sanctions legislation for dealing with Russian Federation, signalling Donald Trump's administration will risk relations with other countries in its campaign against Moscow.

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.

A Russian MP said the United States sanctions will have no impact on the sales of its fighter jets and missiles.

USA officials have been discussing the issue particularly with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, which wants to buy the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries.

The official said it was the first time anyone has been sanctioned for doing business with people on the blacklist of Russian operatives. It can target stealth warplanes, such as the Pentagon's latest F-35 fighter jet.

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