The Anti-Punishment Law was submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, on Monday and has now been approved. The law should provide a legal basis for China’s counter-sanctions. According to experts, the law could require Chinese companies to ignore international sanctions and pressure foreign companies not to do business with companies sanctioned by China, which could put them in a bind.
Chinese law primarily targets the United States, where the government is increasingly using sanctions to take a stand against the Chinese government’s policy in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The United States has frozen the accounts of Hong Kong and Chinese politicians and banned Americans from investing in companies linked to the Chinese military or surveillance companies. The European Union, Great Britain and Canada have also recently imposed sanctions against China.
Beijing usually retaliates with counter-sanctions and, following the lead of the United States, has drawn up a list of “untrustworthy entities,” companies with which the Chinese are not allowed to do business. “But at the moment we are missing the legal basis if we announce counter-sanctions,” said Huang Feng, a professor of law at Beijing Normal University. Southern China Morning Post. “If those penalties are not backed by law, then these are just hollow words.”
According to analysts, the law will have little political effect: Western governments will not allow it to stop them. But companies find themselves in a difficult situation. “If you don’t implement these sanctions, you may be in trouble with the United States, but if you do, you may come under pressure from Beijing,” Adam Ni, director of the China Policy Center in Australia, said in a statement. Southern China Morning Post. “Each company will have to weigh the benefits and costs for themselves.”
The Chinese government says the law is not intended to be offensive, but only to respond to the “domination and power policies of the West” that interfere in China’s internal affairs. Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, who no longer has a bank account due to US sanctions and says he has piles of money in his house, voiced her approval for the law on Tuesday. They (Western governments, red.) Taste their dough.
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