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China passes Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law

Individuals, entities that refuse to counter foreign sanctions face legal consequences

China hits back at Western sanctions.

China hits back at Western sanctions. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China's National People's Congress passed the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law on Thursday (June 10), providing legal grounds for the Chinese government to force any individuals and entities in the country to cooperate with its countermeasures against external sanctions.

According to Article 6 of the new law, the countermeasures include rejecting and canceling visas; deporting individuals; foreclosing, confiscating, or freezing assets; banning or limiting business between targets and the parties imposing sanctions; and any other "necessary measures."

The law also mandates that organizations and individuals in China work with the authorities, and none can execute discriminatory sanctions from foreign countries. It also holds liable those that refuse to cooperate with the government or cause Chinese citizens and entities to suffer losses.

In an interview with the Chinese state-run tabloid Xinhua, the initiator of the new law stated that the word "anti" represents China's consistent opposition to the unilateral sanctions imposed by Western countries in the name of protecting human rights and democracy.

As for whether Hong Kong, whose economy is tightly connected to global finance, will adapt the new law, the director of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, Tian Feilong (田飛龍), said he believes the new rule could be directly implemented via Annex 3 of the city's Basic Law. Otherwise, the Hong Kong government should enact similar regulations to counter external sanctions, he said.

Since last year, the U.S has sanctioned more than 30 Chinese and Hong Kong officials for undermining freedom and democracy in Hong Kong, including its chief executive, Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥). In March, the country issued joint sanctions with the U.K., Canada, and the European Union against four Chinese officials for their involvement with the ongoing human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Updated : 2021-06-19 06:18 GMT+08:00