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China Seeks to Impose Sanctions Against U.S.

China strengthens its legal and diplomatic order to respond to U.S. sanctions and restrain U.S. allies in Asia

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China is seeking to mitigate U.S.-imposed sanctions with new laws. Li Zhanshu, chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, the main legislative body of the Asian giant, said Beijing will “improve legislation in foreign-related fields by focusing on anti-sanctions measures and countering interference” from other countries.

According to Zhanshu, these will be laws that will serve as a legal basis for China to launch “equivalent countermeasures” to foreign sanctions, mainly American ones, which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) calls unjustified.

The CCP expects to implement laws to coerce foreign organizations

Coercion laws and responding against sanctions

China will be able to adopt systematic responses against the measures taken by the United States towards China, not only in trade, but also in political issues such as the genocide committed in Xinjiang and the crackdown in Hong Kong.

On Beijing’s legal changes toward Hong Kong, Song said that “China’s plans to change the city’s electoral system and vet candidates for “patriotism” will protect Hong Kong’s international role,” according to EFE.

Deputy Commissioner of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Commissioner’s Office in the HKSAR Song Ru’an speaks to foreign media in Hong Kong, China, 09 March 2021. (EFE)

For his part, Zhanshu asserted that foreign sanctions and interference “will no longer be free of consequences, and these laws will alter the embarrassing situation of having no laws to fall back on when China’s interests are undermined.”

Beijing has already issued sanctions on American politicians in response to sanctions imposed by Washington. However, Beijing’s new bid takes a more active role within the legal and diplomatic order.

For example, Beijing enacted a new law that gives the Coast Guard more freedom to use force, raising the concerns of democratic countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

It should be recalled that Chinese vessels have made incursions into Japanese waters so far this year, prompting Tokyo to tighten its laws to protect the sovereignty of its coasts.

As part of China’s legislative and diplomatic plan to deal with foreign sanctions and interference, Beijing announced its support for legal action against Adrian Zenz, a German researcher at the Center for Global Policy, where he published a report detailing how the Chinese Communist Party subjects thousands of Uyghurs to forced labor, mainly in cotton picking.

Li Zhanshu exposed before the National People’s Congress the legal developments that have given tools to the Chinese military to advance on Japan’s shores and to politicians and diplomats to implement strategies that allow Beijing to dominate Hong Kong’s parliament.

Adrian Zenz - China - El American
Adrian Zenz, an independent researcher focusing on China’s ethnic politics, public procurement, and securitization, discusses the protection of fundamental freedoms in Xinjiang. (EFE)

Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, blamed Zenz for the global backlash over the genocide in Xinjiang. “Some politicians have chosen to believe his words,” he said at a press conference where he showed government support for the lawsuit imposed by individuals in China.

China demands apology from the UK

China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement demanding the UK ambassador to Beijing, Caroline Wilson, to “submit a solemn representation about her improperly signed article on social media.”

Beijing’s demand stemmed from a post made by the ambassador on the social media Wechat, where she denounces sanctions on foreign media and recalled the importance of press freedom to monitor the work of governments.

“This is a reminder that in recent weeks, Chinese state media have not only published more and more reports of attacks on foreign journalists but also accused them of being anti-China,” Wilson wrote in relation to the dispute between London and Beijing over the blocking of the BBC and CGTN channels respectively.

After the criticisms made by the communist regime, Ambassador Caroline Wilson has maintained her position on social media against China’s persecution of the foreign press.

The CCP’s strategy is to increase its coercive power while evading responsibilities on sensitive issues such as the origin of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the genocide in Xinjiang, taking into account that in 2022 China will host the Winter Olympics.

The Olympics represent a valuable opportunity for China to expand its soft power amid the post-pandemic global opening and should ensure that visitors have a different narrative than the reality the Western media has portrayed of the CCP.

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