Chinese lawmakers approved legislation aimed at giving the country more tools to counter US sanctions in their intensifying rivalry.
The legislation was approved Thursday by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, state broadcaster China Central Television said. The full text of the final legislation wasn’t immediately released.
China is seeking to find new ways to fire back at the US and other Western countries amid tensions over a range of issues. Li Zhanshu, chairman of China’s legislature, said in a March report that the nation would “upgrade our legal toolkit for meeting challenges and guarding against risks in order to oppose foreign sanctions, interference and long-arm jurisdiction.”
The Trump administration sanctioned dozens of Chinese officials, including NPC members, for their roles in helping Beijing tighten its political grip on Hong Kong and in setting policies for Xinjiang, where the US and Western lawmakers say China is carrying out genocide on ethic minorities.
China rejects the claims, saying it is providing vocational training that will ensure continued prosperity in the region.
The Chinese government retaliated with measures of its own, including sanctions on Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, but those lacked bite given the dollar’s dominance in international finance.
China’s effort to level the playing field — or get ahead — could put multinational corporations in a bind. In January, the Ministry of Commerce issued rules that would allow Chinese courts to punish global firms for complying with foreign sanctions, although it gave few details.
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