China has told the US to withdraw sanctions on its military over purchases of Russian jets and missiles or "bear the consequences", reports BBC.
The US says China has contravened US sanctions on Moscow introduced over Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged interference in US politics.
China recently bought 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles.
Beijing has not joined in the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US and its Western allies since 2014.
Its forces took part in giant Russian war games held earlier this month.
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.
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, warning the US against "playing with fire".
"It would be good for them to remember there is such a concept as global stability which they are thoughtlessly undermining by whipping up tensions in Russian-American ties," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in a statement.
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.