On June 10, China’s parliament passed the “Anti-Foreign Sanctions” law.
The law provides a legal cover for blocking the sanctions imposed by the US and EU on China. The law was passed by the National People’s Congress (NPC).
They speeded up the process and skipped public consultations and the standard rules of reviewing the law thrice. It was reviewed only twice.
The law received a nod from Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, mainland Hong Kong officials, and 14 vice-chairmen of the NPC.
The sanctions on China were introduced by the US, Europe, UK, and Canada collectively.
It put sanctions against Chinese entities such as high-tech firms Huawei and ZTE over human rights violation allegations on Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang, imposition of security law in Hong Kong, and unfair industrial practices among other issues.
The office of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress (NPC) quoted that many western countries had used the narrative of Xinjiang and Hong Kong to spread rumors due to ideological differences or biases. Such rumors were spread to suppress China.
Experts claim Anti-Foreign Sanctions law will protect China with strong legal support and help the country against discriminatory measures imposed by western nations.
The new law will allow compensation to Chinese firms and seek legal support.
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, demanded the issuing of such a law back in November. China had planned the law a long time ago, they took a slower pace, hoping Joe Biden would have a softer policy.
However, after Biden dashed Beijing’s hope, they speeded up the plan of the law for safeguarding its security, sovereignty, and dealings with foreign officials.
The law was months in making, however, it was only disclosed recently after its second reading and final review was completed.
This has led to concerns of transparency from the Chinese officials.
The foreign business has voiced its concerns. Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said the European companies are alarmed due to the lack of transparency by Chinese officials because the first reading was not announced.
Tian Feilong, a legal expert at Beihang University, said China can take harsher measures under the law, including freezing bank assets, restricting entry, and sanctions on relevant individuals or entities.
It also includes denying and revoking visas or expulsion, blocking transactions, and communications with Chinese officials.
Chinese entities can file lawsuits in Chinese courts to seek compensation.
Written By: Sharmeen Zariwala