China passes law against foreign sanctions

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China passed a law on Thursday against foreign sanctions, in an attempt by Beijing to protect itself against mounting pressure from the United States and the European Union over its trade and human rights policy.

Beijing has accused the United States of "crushing" Chinese companies and voiced veiled threats in response after President Joe Biden expanded a blacklist of companies in which Americans are prohibited from investing last week.

The law includes countermeasures such as "rejecting visas, denying entry, deportation [...] and sealing, seizing and freezing properties of individuals or companies that adhere to foreign sanctions against Chinese companies or officials," according to the text published by the Permanent Committee of the National People's Congress, China's highest legislative body.

The restrictions may apply to family members of disgraced individuals in China.

The Chinese government has long complained that US law is applied extraterritorially through sanctions and trade restrictions.

In recent months, Biden has intensified criticism against China, both for cases of intellectual property theft and alleged human rights violations in Hong Kong and against the Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang.

On the White House blacklist are 59 Chinese companies, accused of supporting Beijing's military activities.

These include the large telecommunications company China Mobile, the video surveillance company Hikvision and the Chinese oil group CNOOC.

The new text against foreign sanctions also allows the country's courts to sanction companies that comply with foreign laws that violate national interests, which endangers multinationals that adapt to US sanctions.

Furthermore, the law stipulates that companies or individuals in China do not need to submit to foreign restrictions.



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