China adopts law against foreign sanctions, dismisses concerns the bill might affect trade
Updated 21:10, 10-Jun-2021

China's top legislature on Thursday passed a law against foreign sanctions, giving legal basis for the country to counter "discriminatory measures" from a foreign country.

The legislation was passed at the 29th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC). 

The legislation was passed to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, dignity and core interests and oppose Western hegemonism and power politics, said Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday at a regular press briefing.

Wang also dismissed concerns that the legislation may affect the relationship between China and other countries.

President Xi Jinping signed presidential orders to promulgate the new law.

Official: Some Western countries have 'suppressed' China

A few days ago, when the bill was sent for second reading, the country's top legislature also stressed its necessity, saying "some Western countries" have "suppressed" the country.

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, smear, contain and suppress China, said the office of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee on Monday. 

The Chinese government has launched multiple corresponding countermeasures against entities and individuals of relevant countries since the beginning of 2021, the office's spokesperson said.

In late January, Beijing slapped sanctions on 28 U.S. officials who served during former President Donald Trump's era. That list includes former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has "gravely interfered in China's internal affairs and undermined China's interests," according to a statement released about the sanctions.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department, Washington, D.C., U.S., April 29, 2020. /AP

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department, Washington, D.C., U.S., April 29, 2020. /AP

Before leaving office, Pompeo sent out a series of tweets pointing the finger at China, culminating with allegations targeting the Communist Party of China (CPC), Chinese media entities, policies concerning the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Hong Kong, the South China Sea and China's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Pompeo is turning himself into a doomsday clown and joke of the century with his last madness and lies of the century," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in January when asked to comment on the santions.

Experts: The bill won't affect trade in China

When asked if the legislation would affect the trade environment in China, international law scholar Li Qingming dismissed such concerns.

"The opening-up policy of China will not change because of the passage," Li told CRI. Li is a research fellow at the Institute of International Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 

"The bill only targets those entities or individuals that smear or suppress China and will not affect the market entities and ordinary citizens who are running their business legally in the country."

International law professor Huo Zhengxin with the China University of Political Science and Law also stressed the legitimacy of the newly passed law in an interview with CRI.

"The legislation this time by nature is to counter [others' measures], and it fits into the principle of reciprocity under international law," Huo said.

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