Beijing: China on Friday called on the United States (US) to withdraw sanctions it imposed on the Chinese military organisation for buying Russian weapons or bear the consequences. Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, “The Chinese side expresses strong indignation over the above-mentioned unreasonable practices of the US side.”

Geng said, “The US actions have seriously violated the basic principles of international relations and seriously damaged the relations between the two countries and the two militaries. We strongly urge the US to immediately correct their mistake and withdraw their so-called sanctions, otherwise, the US will have to bear the consequences.”

The US State Department said Thursday it was placing financial sanctions on the Equipment Development Department of the Chinese Ministry of Defence, and its top administrator, for the recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missiles.

Officials said it was the first time a third country has been punished under the CAATSA sanctions legislation for dealing with Russia, and signalled the Trump administration’s will to risk relations with other countries in its campaign against Moscow.

The move comes as the United States and China are in the heat of a trade war.