In the face of mounting Western sanctions, China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed an anti-sanctions law on Thursday to take action against the pressure. Under the law, China will establish a working group that will coordinate and enforce anti-sanctions measures.
The law gives China the power to take action against individuals, their families, and entities that are enforcing Western sanctions on Chinese firms or officials. The actions China can take include visa restrictions or the freezing of assets.
Chinese officials introduced the idea last year when the Trump administration started hitting China with sanctions over issues in Hong Kong and alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang. Beijing decided to shelve the law to see how President Biden’s China policy would be compared to his predecessor.
But Biden kept up the pressure and almost immediately started slapping sanctions on China. Differing from Trump, President Biden was able to get US allies to join him in sanctioning China. In March, in a coordinated Western blitz, the US, UK, EU, and Canada all slapped sanctions on Chinese officials over Xinjiang.
Biden has also expanded an investment blacklist that was created by President Trump. After Biden added Chinese firms to the list last week, Americans are now prohibited from investing in 59 Chinese companies. Biden’s policies caused Beijing to hurry the anti-sanctions law.
With all the US pressure, it’s no surprise that China is moving to take countermeasures. And since China is a huge market, Western companies and investors stand to lose if they are targeted.