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China passes law to counter foreign sanctions

Hong Kong — China has enacted new legislation aimed at countering foreign sanctions in response to US and European efforts to put pressure on Beijing on issues that span human rights, trade and technology.

According to state media, senior lawmakers in the Chinese parliament will approve the “anti-foreign sanctions law” on Thursday, skipping public consultations, and allowing legislators to consider the bill twice instead of the usual three times. It has passed.

Chinese scholars and state media are Beijing’s legal tools to resist Western coercion by retaliation against foreign sanctions and establishing mechanisms to mitigate their impact on China’s substance and individuals. I explained the law as a timely addition to the kit.

The United States and other Western governments Strengthen the use of economic and political sanctions Beijing’s unfair industrial practices, what they say is a forced assimilation campaign, against China in the past year or so Targeting Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region And that Repression of civil liberties in Hong Kong, Among other issues.

State media said Chinese leader Xi Jinping would sign the law and take effect when it was published. As of Thursday evening, Beijing time, the full text was not available.

According to observers, the rapid enactment of the new law is Nishi’s request for a quicker improvement in the legal framework to protect China’s sovereignty, security and interests in foreign transactions issued in November. It was the culmination of.

The bill had been in place for several months, but state media only revealed the draft on Monday, and the bill is being prepared for a second reading and final passage by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress this week. He said it was done. Senior lawmakers first considered the bill in April, but this reading was not announced at the time.

Increasing tensions between the United States and the increasingly powerful China have raised some concerns that they may escalate into armed conflict. However, as the WSJ’s Gerald F. Save explains, there are forces that oppose the conflict rather than head for it. (Released on June 3, 2021.) Photo Illustration: Todd Johnson

Foreign business executives have expressed concern about what they consider to be extraordinary secrets. “European companies in China have warned of the lack of transparency in this process. The first reading has not been published and there is no draft to consider,” said Jog Utke of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. The chairman said before the law. Was exceeded.

“Such behavior does not help attract foreign investment or reassure companies that are increasingly feeling that they are being used as sacrificial pawns in political chess games,” Wuttke said.

Greg Gilligan, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, refused to provide detailed comments on the law until details were revealed, but “if there is cross-border disagreement, the government has this. We need to work together to coordinate in a way that allows companies to maintain legal compliance within the jurisdiction in which they do business. “

The enactment of the new law follows the surge in Tit-for-Tat sanctions between China and the Western government over the past year or so.

The Trump and Biden administrations impose sanctions on senior Chinese officials, including 25 strong members of the Communist Party, Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Parliament, and many officials involved in Hong Kong’s policies. did. The United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union have announced similar steps.

Washington has also applied punitive measures in the past to Chinese businesses and individuals accusing them of violating US sanctions on North Korea and Iran.

Beijing accuses sanctions such as interference with China’s internal affairs Correspond with original measures..

For example, China has banned many Trump administration officials from doing business with or entering the country. China’s Foreign Ministry also announced plans to punish some US defense contractors who participated in the sale of US arms to democracy on the island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims to be territory, without providing details.

In January, the Ministry of Commerce of China announced new rules for Chinese businesses and citizens to combat so-called unjustified foreign laws and sanctions. This allows Chinese companies to sue in Chinese courts for compensation for losses resulting from foreign measures. ..

Then, in March, the National Assembly approved plans to improve China’s legal toolkit to counter foreign sanctions, interventions, and “long-arm jurisdiction,” state media said.

Write to Chun Han Wong at chunhan.wong@wsj.com

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China passes law to counter foreign sanctions

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