Moscow and Beijing lashed out Friday at Washington’s new anti-Russian sanctions that also target China for the first time, warning the United States could face consequences. The United States is “playing with fire”, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said, while Beijing voiced “strong indignation” over the move. United in their resentment of America’s global influence, China and Russia have sought in recent years to tighten up their ties and this month conducted week-long joint military drills, Moscow’s largest-ever war games.

On Thursday, China — which is also locked in a trade war with Washington — got caught up in the sanctions war against Russia as the United States announced a new raft of measures that would punish third countries for dealing with Moscow. Stepping up pressure on Moscow over its “malign activities,” the US State Department said it was placing financial sanctions on the Equipment Development Department of the Chinese Ministry of Defence, and its top administrator, for its recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems. FULL REPORT