China is fast becoming a manufacturer of sophisticated weaponry in its own right but it remains eager to buy advanced Russian weaponry, especially air defence systems and combat aircraft.
Moscow - after years of some reluctance - is now more willing to transfer this sort of weaponry to Beijing.
What other reaction has there been?
The BBC's China correspondent, Stephen McDonell, says that while it seems like strong language from the foreign ministry spokesman, just how angry Beijing is will become clearer when they say what their retaliation will be.
Russia has also criticised the sanctions on the Chinese military, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov describing them as "yet another act of unfair competition", Interfax reported.
Meanwhile his deputy, Sergei Ryabkov, said the US was "thoughtlessly undermining" global stability by "whipping up tensions in Russian-American ties" and warned it against "playing with fire".
US officials have said the sanctions are aimed at Russia, and are not intended to undermine other countries' defence capabilities and similar action against other countries could be considered.
Are sanctions a fading weapon?
By Jonathan Marcus, BBC Defence & Diplomatic Correspondent
The target of these sanctions is Russia rather than China but the impact is likely to be to encourage co-operation between Beijing and Moscow who, to a large extent, already share a worldview and resist what they see as Washington's efforts to throw its weight around.
China's developing military relationship with Russia was underscored by its participation at the recent Vostok exercises and it is not going to halt sophisticated weapons purchases from Russia.
The US move could just deepen the already tense trading relationship with Beijing. Sanctions may be a good way of registering US displeasure and causing Russia economic pain, but they may well not produce the desired outcome, a change in Russian policy.
The world's economic balance of power is slowly changing - sanctions imposed by a once-dominant US is a weapon that is gradually weakening and some believe their overuse could accelerate this process.
Who is affected by the sanctions?
China's Equipment Development Department (EDD), which is responsible for improving China's military technology, and its head, Li Shangfu, are sanctioned for completing "significant transactions" with Russia's state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport.
The US says it is "committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific" and has sailed warships close to artificial islands built by Beijing to challenge what it sees as Chinese efforts to restrict freedom of navigation in a strategically important area.