Top lawmakers in China on Thursday voted to pass the highly expected Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, providing a comprehensive legal basis for blocking illegal foreign sanctions and preventing Chinese individuals and entities from suffering the damage resulting from such illegal sanctions. The new law will also offer sufficient legal foundation for taking an equal position with the West by imposing necessary countermeasures, Chinese legal experts said.
The Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) convened its 29th session on Monday in Beijing, which was scheduled to conclude on Thursday, and draft version of the anti-foreign sanctions law was put to review for the second time on Monday. According to the rules and procedures of the legislative body, the draft law in the agenda of the NPC Standing Committee meeting should generally be reviewed three times before being put to a vote. However, if there is consensus on all aspects of the draft law, it can be reviewed twice.
The highly expected law, which is considered an effective and strong legal tool to stop the long-arm jurisdiction of foreign countries, includes 16 articles, stipulating principles of punishment for violating the law, and major authorities in enforcing it. Relevant authorities under the State Council – China’s cabinet – can directly or indirectly participate in formulating, deciding and enforcing a countermeasure list targeted at individuals and entities that have taken discriminatory measures against Chinese citizens and organizations under the pretext of their domestic laws.
Targeted groups of the countermeasure list can be expanded to their relatives, spouse, the organizations that are led by these targeting individuals or operated by them, according to the law, which lays out a number of measures, including refusing to issue visas or denying entry, deportation, freezing properties and restricting relevant transactions and cooperation.
If any organization or individual assists foreign countries to take discriminatory measures, Chinese citizens and organizations can file a lawsuit with the people’s court in line with the law and to stop infringement as well as seek compensation for losses, according to the law.
China also has set up a working mechanism in responding to foreign sanctions, which also coordinates relevant work, including information sharing. And authorities such as the Chinese Foreign Ministry or the State Council or others are responsible for releasing the list of countermeasures, which could be suspended or changed if necessary.