06/10/2021, 16.34
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Beijing passes 'anti-sanctions' law setting off alarm bells among foreign companies

The National People's Congress gives the green light to the law, but none of its details have been made public. Foreign companies that uphold anti-China sanctions risk retaliation. The EU Chamber of Commerce in China warns that the law does not encourage investment. The US is ready to implement a new "anti-China" measure.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The Standing Committee of China’s National People's Congress today passed an anti-sanctions law in response to punitive measures by the United States and its allies.

Chinese media have reported the move explaining that the authorities have not yet provided any details about the new legislation’s content.

What is known is that Chinese companies and entities could turn to Chinese courts to obtain protection from possible foreign sanctions.

The adoption of the law was fast-tracked after the United States, the European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom imposed economic and financial restrictions on Chinese officials, entities and state bodies involved in the repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

The new law also targets Western sanctions against China over its policies in Hong Kong.

According to several observers, Chinese leaders have also pushed for the anti-sanctions measure in order to force companies based in other countries with operations in China not to comply with Western bans.

Foreign investors who align themselves with anti-China sanctions are now in danger of suffering retaliation from Beijing.

European companies have expressed strong concern about the law, slamming the Chinese government's lack of transparency.

According to Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, the new law “is not conducive to attracting foreign investment”.

In his view, European investors are increasingly convinced that they are becoming mere pawns in a political game.

The passage of China’s anti-sanctions law introduces a new element in the confrontation between China and the United States.

To counter Beijing's technological challenge, the US Senate gave the green light on Tuesday to a US$ 250 billion bill to fund hi-tech research and development.

Before it becomes law, the bill must be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by US President Joe Biden.

On 3 June, the US president signed an executive order banning US companies and entities from investing in 59 Chinese defence and technology surveillance companies.

Washington accuses these companies of spying on behalf of China’s armed forces and intelligence service.

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