China warns US it will 'bear the consequences' for sanctions placed on its military

  • The United States has imposed sanctions on a part of the Chinese military for buying Russian weaponry.
  • China's foreign ministry has said the U.S. should remove them or "bear the consequences."
  • The sanctions relate to Russia's 2014 invasion of East Ukraine.
A Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter lands at the Russian Hmeimim military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria.
Vasily Maximov | AFP | Getty Images
A Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter lands at the Russian Hmeimim military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria.

China has told the United States it should remove sanctions on its military or it will "bear the consequences."

On Thursday, the U.S. enforced sanctions on China's Equipment Development Department (EDD) for what Washington described as "significant transactions" with Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport. China has purchased Russian SU-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missiles.

The sanctions mean the EDD and its head, Li Shangfu, cannot do business with Americans and any assets currently on U.S. soil will now be frozen.

Addressing reporters at a regular press conference on Friday, China's foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said the sanctions were unreasonable and Beijing had already lodged an official protest with the U.S.

"The U.S. actions have seriously violated the basic principles of international relations and seriously damaged the relations between the two countries and the two militaries," Geng said.

"We strongly urge the U.S. to immediately correct their mistake and withdraw their so-called sanctions, otherwise the U.S. will have to bear the consequences."

A Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
Sergei Malgavko | TASS via Getty Images
A Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

The intent of the U.S. sanctions is to punish Russia for its invasion of East Ukraine in 2014. Other regions, most notably the European Union, have also imposed sanctions, but China has remained neutral. The United States said China has now contravened the terms of a U.S. sanctions bill signed in 2017.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement Friday that the U.S. government was creating global uncertainty.

"It would be good for them to remember there is such a concept as global stability which they are thoughtlessly undermining by whipping up tensions in Russian-American ties," Ryabkov said.

"Playing with fire is silly, it can become dangerous," he added.

The U.S. Department of State also announced Thursday that 33 more companies and individuals were being added to a sanctions list in a bid to "further impose costs on the Russian government in response to its malign activities."

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