China approves law against foreign sanctions
Beijing, Jun 10 (EFE).- The National People’s Congress (NPC or the parliament) of China passed Thursday a law to counter foreign sanctions in order to supposedly safeguard its national sovereignty, dignity and fundamental interests, according to official media reports.
Since Monday, the Standing Committee of the NPC had been studying this new legislation, the first of its kind in China and the details of which remain unknown.
The law provides a legal framework to respond to sanctions such as those recently imposed by the United States or the European Union on issues such as the human rights situation in the ethnic Uighur Muslim majority region of Xinjiang.
A statement by the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee said that some Western countries have used Xinjiang and Hong Kong-related issues as part of their pretexts to contain and suppress China through sanctions on state bodies and officials.
The statement underlined that these sanctions violated international law and interfered in China’s domestic affairs, bringing the necessity for formulating a special law to oppose foreign sanctions.
This law will provide strong legal support and a guarantee for China’s countermeasures against foreign discriminatory measures, it added.
According to a plenary in March by the NPC to its Standing Committee, this framework seeks to update its legal instruments to meet challenges and protect itself from risks by opposing international sanctions, interference and long-range jurisdiction.
In drafting the text, the legislative body has taken into account the recommendations of different sectors and analyzed international laws and legislation of different countries, according to local media.
Several foreign companies in the country have expressed concern about the potential impact of this law on their businesses in China.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the adoption of the new legal text shows China’s “determination” to protect its “sovereignty and its fundamental interests” and that it would not affect its relations with other countries.
Discussions on the law began last year, when Donald Trump was US President, but China waited for months before adopting it to check the policy of the new administration under Joe Biden, according to experts cited by local media.
On Mar.22, the EU imposed sanctions against Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, the first such instance from Brussels against Beijing in more than 30 years.
China responded a few hours later by sanctioning 10 people, including five European parliamentarians and four institutions. EFE