US sanctions China military agency for buying Russian arms

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Chinese military agency and its director are facing U.S. sanctions over the purchase of Russian weapons.

U.S. government officials say China’s Equipment Development Department and director Li Shangfu violated a 2017 law meant to punish Russia for interfering in U.S. elections and other activities.

Administration officials say that the agency under Li’s direction made large purchases of Russian combat aircraft and surface-to-air missiles in violation of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

Anyone engaging with Russian defense contractors or people associated with them can face economic sanctions that include being prohibited from transactions with the U.S. financial system.

The U.S. added 33 names associated with the Russian defense sector as part of Thursday’s announcement.

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