fredag 11. juni 2021

China rushes through law to counter US and EU sanctions

China has passed a law to counter foreign sanctions in response to US and EU pressure over trade, technology, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Individuals or entities involved in making or implementing discriminatory measures against Chinese citizens or entities could be put on an anti-sanctions list and may be denied entry into China or be expelled from the country. Their assets within China may be seized or frozen and they could be restricted from doing business there. China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC) standing committee, passed the law on Thursday, according to state television CCTV.

All 14 vice-chairpersons of the committee are under US sanctions for passing the Hong Kong national security law last year that critics say has crippled political freedoms. The US and its allies have increasingly sanctioned Chinese officials over China’s treatment of its Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang and pro-democracy activities in Hong Kong, triggering counter-sanctions by China. Washington has also targeted Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE for violating US sanctions on Iran or North Korea.

The bill underwent a secret first reading in April and was passed on Thursday, barely two days after the NPC announced that it was doing a second reading of the bill. It skipped a third reading normally needed for other bills.