BEIJING — China has summoned the American ambassador Terry Branstad and recalled its navy commander from a United States trip to deliver a strong protest against economic sanctions Washington lodged over the purchase of Russian fighter jets and surface-to-air missile equipment.
Besides postponing a three-day bilateral military dialogue in Beijing, China also warned of further action if the US does not withdraw the sanctions, South China Morning Post reported.
The Defense Ministry said the US had no right to interfere in Chinese military cooperation with Russia.
“We demand that the US immediately correct the mistake and revoke the so-called sanctions, otherwise the US must bear the consequences,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The Central Military Commission, which commands the People’s Liberation Army, the world’s largest standing military, said that Huang Xueping, the commission’s deputy head for international military cooperation, had also summoned the acting US defense attache on Saturday evening, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Huang said China would immediately recall Shen Jinlong, a Chinese navy commander currently in the US attending a symposium and would postpone a meeting scheduled for Sept 25-27 in Beijing about a communication mechanism.
“The Chinese military reserves the right to take further countermeasures,” Huang was quoted as saying.
Russian rocket fails in the mid air, crew lands safely
COSMODROME—Booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely without any harm.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.
The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around 1 km away said that it had gone smoothly in its initial stage.
“Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members,” NASA said in a statement.