Foreign individuals, governments and organizations that have imposed sanctions on China for issues relating to Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan, COVID-19 and maritime affairs could face retaliatory measures under a new law passed by Beijing, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The anti-sanctions law, passed on Thursday by the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, would allow the country to counteract foreign countries and organizations that had used these issues as an excuse to sanction China, Xinhua said on Friday, citing an unnamed senior member of the rubber-stamp legislature.
Such foreign sanctions amounted to “bullying” of China and interference in its internal affairs as they were based on political manipulation and bias, the lawmaker was quoted as saying.
Government departments at different levels were empowered by the tit-for-tat law to use existing laws and regulations to sanction foreign individuals and entities, such as the export control law, the regulation on unreliable entities and a blocking statute, the standing committee member said.
The lawmaker also said the new law would not undermine China’s attractiveness for foreign investors.
Yet some foreign business operators have expressed concern over the new law. The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said the legislation was not conducive to attracting foreign investment or reassuring companies that increasingly feel that they would be used as sacrificial pawns in a game of political chess.
The new law comes after the US, EU, Britain and Canada sanctioned Chinese officials over human rights infringements in Xinjiang.
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