Asia - Pacific

China passes foreign sanctions law

Law empowers China to counteract 'foreign discriminatory measures,' says Foreign Ministry

Riyaz Ul Khaliq   | 10.06.2021
China passes foreign sanctions law


China's top legislative body on Thursday passed a law approving legal backing for sanctions against any foreign entity.

"It's necessary for China to formulate the anti-foreign sanctions law, as the law provides strong legal basis and support for China to counteract foreign discriminatory measures," Wang Wenbin, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, told a news conference in Beijing.

"It's not necessary to worry about whether it will affect China's relations with other countries," said Wang, according to Chinese daily Global Times.

The anti-foreign sanctions law, the first of its kind in China, "provides strong legal support and guarantees for the country against unilateral and discriminatory measures imposed by other countries."

The Foreign Ministry described it as a "legal toolkit with focus on moves against sanctions and interference and countering long-arm jurisdiction to cope with challenges and risks."

A draft of the law had been submitted by Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislative body of China, earlier this week.

The draft discussed China's anti-sanctions practices, citing related overseas legislation, and soliciting opinions from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and national government departments.

After meetings in April, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said on Tuesday that "members of the NPC Standing Committee broadly agreed to formulate the law to counter foreign sanctions, and gave some advice and suggestion on improving the draft."

"For some time, out of political manipulation needs and ideological bias, some Western countries have used Xinjiang and Hong Kong-related issues as part of their pretexts to spread rumors on and smear, contain, and suppress China," spokesman Zhao Lijian had said.

He blamed Western countries for violating international law and basic norms governing international relations by imposing the "so-called sanctions on relevant Chinese state organs, organizations, and functionaries in accordance with their domestic laws, grossly interfering in China's internal affairs."

"In order to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, dignity and core interests and oppose Western hegemonism and power politics, the Chinese government has launched multiple corresponding countermeasures against entities and individuals of relevant countries since the beginning of 2021," he had added. "It's paying them back in their own coin."

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