China prepares for ‘hellish’ sanctions

China prepares for ‘hellish’ sanctions

Dmitry Kosyrev

“Here’s a good lesson for us, because today it’s Russia, and tomorrow it’s China.” So Tian Feilong, a law scholar at Beihang University in Beijing, explains the current work on China’s anti-sanctions legislation.
The strengthening of such legislation is perhaps the most remarkable result for us of the annual “double session” now taking place in Beijing, that is, the meeting of the parliament in full from time to time, and the continuously functioning Supreme Council, which included only a part of the deputies). This work is noteworthy not only for us and not only for China : it is a global precedent on how to deal with the Western passion for sanctions – unilateral, “hellish” and others.
Since the Parliament is in session, we are talking about the legal basis. And so far, the essence of what is happening is explained as follows: the power must update the suitcase with tools suitable for combating sanctions. The “double session”, in fact, gives framework, but mandatory instructions for the upcoming legislative work – so far we are talking only about this, but there is no doubt that everything will be fine with the “suitcase”.
Why? Because, literally, it is necessary to “protect Chinese sovereignty and development” in the face of “impudent sanctions”, esp-ecially “in view of the R-ussian-Ukrainian crisis.” This crisis “brilliantly sho-ws how the US -led West is abusing power in the part of the world system it controls and overusing sanctions in its geopolitical battles to maintain hegemony.” Qu-otes – from official and ex-pert statements of various figures during the session.
Specifically, we are talking, apparently, about brin-ging into the general syst-em of the anti-sanctions le-gislation that already exists, and then about new defensive and offensive measu-res. The fact is that such la-ws already exist and are in force in the country, there are at least four of them, not counting decrees and or-ders. It’s just that they were adopted piecemeal and as a fire response to regular anti-Chinese attacks, not everyone has clear instructions for use. The Ukrainian crisis has only accelerated the necessary work.
And it was especially ac-celerated by the terribly fo-rmidable US calls to Beiji-ng not to try to thwart Wes-tern sanctions against Ru-ssia.
Let’s see what defensive-offensive laws are already in place. The most famous of them is the one that was adopted in June last year. The reason was Hong Kong. Recall that an operation was undertaken in this special region of the country, comparable to the recent events in Belarus or partially in Kazakhstan – a long and destructive liberal-student “Maidan” with mass demonstrations, police harassment, subway arson and other delights. Local authorities and Beijing endured for a long time, then they adopted new “Hong Kong” laws against pogroms and began to implement them. And as a result, the heads of the local administration, including its head, Carrie Lam, fell under personal sanctions., whose foreign assets were seized and a travel ban was imposed on Western countries. Then came the retaliatory law.
It contained obvious things like personal measures against those foreign figures who organized the sanctions, with the seizure of their assets in China – if any – and a ban on entry. But there was something even more interesting.
The fact is that the Chinese authorities discovered that not only foreigners, but also citizens of the country could participate in the development of sancti-ons, suggest weaknesses in their homeland – and acc-ording to the law, they co-uld not do anything. Now it is possible and necessary (including prohibitions to be elected anywhere): it w-as a good precedent. Today, anti-sanctions legislation will be added to special, lo-cal Hong Kong laws and i-mproved in every possible way. But much more interesting are the so-called secondary sanctions. This is when Western laws apply to companies from countries that are not involved in any sanctions. That is, if you are dealing with some partner who is being pursued by Westerners, then your business in the US or Europe can be fined, arrested, blocked, and you yourself can get on some lists.
And what can be done about it? It turns out that it is possible, and in accordance with existing legislation. It began to be introduced back in 2016 (taking into account the “Crimean” actions against Russia and European attacks on China over human rights), but now it will be clarified. Here we turn to a site that gives advice to businesses operating in China. He tells us: in response to the participation of some corporation operating in China in the sanctions regime, Beijing has the right to do anything with the assets and business of this corporation in China itself, and at the same time prosecute it in third countries.
Moreover, another interesting innovation was invented. Not necessarily the Chinese state, but in general any citizen of this country can sue a foreign business if this citizen believes that foreign restrictions have harmed him. And the court can confiscate the offender’s assets or do something similar. And since we are talking about a country – the production shop of the whole world, then someone can be hurt.
The site gives advice to foreign businesses : when concluding a contract, try to enter a clause there stating that the deal, in fact, is derived from Chinese law, that is, all disagreements will be settled in some kind of neutral courts. It is clear that now the Chinese parliament will close this loophole. That is, any business in the world finds itself between a rock and a hard place: if you comply with the laws of your sanctioners, you will fall under the blow of Chinese law.
China is preparing to solve exactly the same problem that is now facing Russia.

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