China said Friday it was "outraged" over U.S. economic sanctions against a Chinese military agency and its director over the purchase of Russian fighter jets and surface-to-air missile equipment, and demanded the U.S. cancel the measure.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing has lodged stern complaints with Washington over the action, which triggers a ban on entering the U.S., forbids conducting transactions with the U.S. financial system and forces the blocking of all property and interests in property within U.S. jurisdiction.
"China is strongly outraged by this unreasonable action by the U.S.," Geng told reporters at a daily news briefing. "We strongly urge the U.S. to immediately correct its mistakes and revoke the so-called sanctions. Otherwise, it must take all the consequences," Geng said, without giving details.
China's purchase of the weapons from Rosoboronexport, Russia's main arms exporter, violated a 2017 law, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, intended to punish the government of President Vladimir Putin for interfering in U.S. elections and other activities.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that China's Equipment Development Department and director Li Shangfu made a "significant transaction" involving the purchase of Su-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018.
The sanctions were enacted "to further impose costs on the Russian government in response to its malign activities," Nauert said in the statement. The U.S. will continue to "urge all countries to curtail relationships with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors, both of which are linked to malign activities worldwide," she added.