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U.S. plans sanctions on Russia, China - officials

By Steve Holland and Daphne Psaledakis

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The United States plans to impose new sanctions against Russia and China on Friday that include punishing Moscow for its use of Iranian drones in its war against Ukraine, two U.S. officials said on Thursday.

The sanctions will also target about 170 Chinese entities for what Washington considers illegal fishing in the Pacific, the officials said, amid concerns that China is over-fishing and using its fishing fleet to expand Beijing's maritime influence.

The sanctions were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Many of the sanctions are to be levied under the Global Magnitsky Act, the 2016 law that authorizes the U.S. government to sanction foreign government officials worldwide who are deemed to be human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and ban them from entering the United States.

The United States has condemned Iran's export of military drones to Russia for their use against Ukraine. John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, told reporters on Wednesday the United States has seen the continued provision of Iranian drones to Russia.

The sanctions are expected to target a number of Russian defense industry entities involved in the transfer of Iranian drones to Russia, the officials said. (Reporting by Steve Holland and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Lincoln Feast)