The United States is imposing new sanctions on certain Chinese entities and people who it accuses of knowingly transferring oil from Iran in violation of Washington's curbs on Tehran, drawing China’s criticism.
The US Treasury Department announced that it is slapping sanctions on five Chinese nationals and six entities, including two Cosco Shipping Corporation subsidiaries.
"And we are telling China, and all nations: know that we will sanction every violation," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday at a conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
China's foreign ministry criticized the move on Thursday.
"We always oppose the so-called long arm jurisdiction and unilateral sanctions," said Geng Shuang, a ministry spokesman.
"We also oppose the bullying practice of the US," he added.
China's cooperation with Iran is legitimate and legal and should be respected and protected, Geng said, adding: "We urge the US to correct its wrongdoing."
"The more Iran lashes out the greater our pressure will and should be," Pompeo said. "That path forward begins now with two new actions."
He said Washington was also ramping up efforts to educate countries on the risks of doing business with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps entities and that it will punish those who continue to engage with them in violation of sanctions.
In a speech to the annual gathering of world leaders on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump promised to keep trying to squeeze Iran's economy with sanctions until Tehran agrees to give up what Washington says is a pursuit of nuclear weapons.