September 22, 2018 / 9:00 AM / 3 months ago

China says U.S. has 'no right' to interfere in Russia military cooperation

SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Sept 22 (Reuters) - China’s decision to buy fighter jets and missile systems from Russia is a normal act of cooperation between sovereign countries and the United States has “no right to interfere”, defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Saturday.

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on China’s Equipment Development Department (EED), the branch of the military responsible for weapons procurement, after it engaged in “significant transactions” with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms exporter.

The sanctions are related to China’s purchase of 10 SU-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018, the State Department said.

The sanctions will block the EED and its director, Li Shangfu, from applying for export licences and participating in the U.S. financial system.

“The U.S. approach is a blatant violation of the basic norms of international relations, a full manifestation of hegemony, and a serious breach of the relations between the two countries and their two militaries,” Wu said in a notice posted on the Chinese defence ministry’s official Wechat account.

He warned that the United States would face “consequences” if it did not immediately revoke the sanctions.

Reporting by David Stanway and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie

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