Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

From buyer to partner - China’s changing weapons ties with Russian Federation

From buyer to partner - China’s changing weapons ties with Russian Federation

China bought S-400 missiles and 10 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russian Federation, and has refused to join the US and its allies in imposing sanctions on Russian Federation over its actions in Ukraine and in USA politics.

"China expresses strong indignation at these unreasonable actions by the US side and has already lodged stern representations", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing on September 20.

The Trump administration said such buying breach United States sanctions on Moscow imposed over Russian action in Ukraine in 2014.

While being added to the blacklist does not trigger sanctions, anyone doing business with a blacklisted person or entity could face penalties like those imposed on China.

Russian Federation on Friday called a new wave of US sanctions misguided, saying Washington's habit of using sanctions against Moscow risked undermining global stability and was part of a unsafe game. "This seems to have turned into some sort of national sport, with yesterday's anti-Russian measures becoming the 60th since 2011", the diplomat said.

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

The State Department also announced it was placing 33 Russian intelligence and military-linked actors on its sanctions blacklist. President Donald Trump then signed an executive order authorizing the sanctions.

"We see the fervor gripping United States politicians, and many of them are held hostage to their beliefs about their "exclusiveness" and hope that if they crank pressure up just one more notch, they will be able to dictate their terms to Russian Federation", he elaborated.

The sanctions target China's Equipment Development Department (EDD) and its director, Li Shangfu, and have increased tensions between Washington and Beijing amid an escalating trade dispute.

"For example, China's BeiDou navigation system could be integrated with Russia's Glonass global navigation satellite system, which will challenge the dominance of the US' Global Positioning System". "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. It is regarded as a key part of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), the overall high command of the Chinese military headed by Xi.

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When asked about the sanctions' possible impact on US-China military relations, Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan told the South China Morning Post that "the Department of Defense won't speculate on potential impacts these sanctions could have on mil-mil relations".

The US action violated the basic principles of global relations, the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA), Geng Shuang said. China, which relies on technology for its military modernisation has stepped up its military ties with Russian Federation.

Members of Congress, including many of Trump's fellow Republicans, who passed the sanctions bill almost unanimously, have repeatedly called on the administration to take a harder line against Moscow.

Turkey is in talks to buy S-400 missile systems from Russian Federation. It can target stealth warplanes, such as the Pentagon's latest F-35 fighter jet.

"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 defense and intelligence sectors", another USA official said.

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