The US has imposed sanctions on the Chinese military over its purchasing of Russian military jets and surface-to-air missiles.
It says such purchases 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles contravene US sanctions on Moscow introduced in response to Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged inference in US politics.
Relations between the US and Russia deteriorated rapidly after Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 American presidential election and military involvement in Syria’s ongoing civil war increased tensions.
China’s Equipment Development Department (EDD) and its head, Li Shangfu, are sanctioned for completing “significant transactions” with Russia’s state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport.
The EDD and Mr Li have been added to a Blocked Persons List, meaning any assets they hold in the US are frozen and Americans are “generally prohibited” from doing business with them. Furthermore, the EDD is denied export licences and excluded from the American financial system.
A politician in Moscow said the US 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,” Franz Klintsevich, a Russian member of parliament, was quoted as saying by Russia’s Interfax news agency.