The Anti-Punishment Law was submitted on Monday to China’s top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and is expected to be approved. The exact details are not yet known, but the law will provide a legal basis for Chinese 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 froze the accounts of politicians from Hong Kong and China, and banned Americans from investing in companies linked to the Chinese military or surveillance firms. The European Union, Great Britain and Canada have also recently imposed sanctions against China.
Beijing usually responds with counter-sanctions and, following the lead of the United States, has drawn up a list of “untrustworthy entities”, which are companies that the Chinese are not allowed to do business with. “But at the moment, we are missing the legal basis for declaring counter-sanctions,” said Huang Feng, a professor of law at Beijing Normal University. Southern China Morning Post. “If these 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 position. “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 politics of the West,” which interfere in China’s internal affairs. Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam, who no longer has a bank account due to US sanctions and says he has piles of cash at his home, approved the law on Tuesday. They (Western governments, red.) Taste their dough. ”