China said on Thursday it had lodged a complaint with the United States after it imposed narrow penalties on Iranian and Chinese figures for supporting Iran's ballistic missile program, Reuters reported.
China has complained repeatedly to the United States about unilateral sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies linked to either Iran or North Korea's nuclear or missile programs.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday extended wide sanctions relief for Iran called for under a 2015 international nuclear deal even as he imposed the new penalties.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China followed local rules and regulations and closely adhered to its responsibilities to the international community.
"China is opposed to the blind use of unilateral sanctions particularly when it damages the interests of third parties. I think the sanctions are unhelpful in enhancing mutual trust and unhelpful for international efforts on this issue," she told a daily news briefing.
"China has lodged representations with the United States and hopes the U.S. side can on the principle of mutual respect resolve non-proliferation issues through dialogue and communication," Hua added.
China has close economic and diplomatic ties with Tehran, but was also instrumental in pushing through a landmark 2015 deal to curb Iran's nuclear program.