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April 22, 2019
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USA-China Relations Deteriorate as US Imposes Sanctions on Buying Russian Arms

The trade war between China and the United States of America looms large and it isn’t going to get any better as the Trump Administration has placed sanctions on Chinese military department for buying Russian weapons. The trade war meant that the relations between the two superpowers were on the slide and amidst all this, the latest sanctions imposed by the US isn’t sitting well with Beijing, blasting the US saying that the country will bear the consequences if the sanctions are not removed.

The sanctions came in the aftermath of China making ‘significant transactions’ with Rosoboronexport, the Russian arms supplier. China’s Equipment Development Department (EDD) came under fire as US imposed the sanctions for S-400 surface-to-air missiles and SU-35 fighter jets. While Washington is focusing on its sovereignty, Beijing has openly thrashed the Trump Administration for ruining the military relations between the two countries and that the US has violated the principles of international relations.

Geng Shuang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson told the media the country has officially recorded their protest against the sanctions with the US. He called on the US to withdraw the so-called sanctions to correct their mistakes.

Sheng said, “The sanctions have severely violated the basic norms of international relations and damaged the relations between the two countries and two militaries. We strongly urge the US side to correct the mistakes immediately and revoke the so-called sanctions. Otherwise, the US has to bear the consequences of it”.

While China termed the sanctions as utterly unreasonable, the US claimed the sanctions were meant to punish Russia for its maligning role in the country’s politics, the annexation of Eastern Ukraine in 2014 as well as other activities.

“The ultimate target of these sanctions is Russia. Caatsa sanctions in this context are not intended to undermine the defense capabilities of any particular country but are aimed at imposing costs on Russia in response to its malign activities”, told a senior US administration official. He further went on to add that the other countries following the footsteps of China and Russia, violating the sanctions act would be penalized, if need be.

The Trump Administration issued the sanctions under Caatsa- Section 231 of the US Law which imposes a ban on individuals doing business with those in the blacklist. The US claims to add 33 more individuals to the list, a number of which are known to have played their part in the US elections 2016. 28 such individuals have been indicted by Robert Mueller, the US Special Counsel, for meddling with the Presidential Elections 2016. The list now features 72 individuals.

While the US government made it clear that the sanctions are not meant to put a question mark on the military capabilities of any country, rather penalize Russia for its activities. A Russian politician, however, was sure that the sanctions will have no consequences, saying that the country’s arms exports will not be hampered in any case. He further said that he is confident that Russia will successfully deliver the arms to China, saying that the country needs this. Russia’s arms exports target mostly in Asia, accounting for 70% of the overall sales.

China, on the other hand, is doing its best to get the sanctions undone at the earliest to prevent the mutual relations with the US from further deteriorating amidst an already tense environment following the burgeoning trade war. Deputy Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang called on the US Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China Terry Branstad on Saturday following the sanctions. The top diplomat recorded ‘solemn representations’ before the Ambassador.

The top officials based in Washington told the media that China was penalized for violating the sanctions law passed in 2017 – Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act – saying that this was the first time a 3rd party was punished for violating the law. Chinese Defence Ministry called the move a ‘stark show of hegemonism’ while denouncing the sanctions altogether.

Russia isn’t sitting quietly either, claiming that the US is trying is best to obliterate Russia from the global arms market, labeling their actions as to be equivalent to ‘playing with fire’.

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