With an aim to counter rising pressure from the west on a slew of issues including human rights and trade, China will establish a leading group to coordinate and enforce recently passed anti-sanctions law.
This will be established under anti-sanctions law passed on Thursday by the National People's Congress Standing Committee.The law, which came into effect immediately, calls for sweeping retaliation against any individuals, their families and organisations responsible for imposing foreign sanctions against China, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
Those on the list may face countermeasures including denying and revoking visas or expulsion, seizing and freezing assets within China, blocking or restricting transactions and cooperation with Chinese individuals and entities within China, as well as other unspecified "necessary measures".
According to the legislation, a mechanism will be established for "overall planning and coordination" of anti-sanctions work.
Relevant departments of the State Council will strengthen coordination and information sharing, determine and implement relevant countermeasures in accordance with their respective responsibilities and tasks.
Chinese experts involved in legislation consultation said the section referred to the setting up of a leading group, with representatives from the foreign and commerce ministries, as well as the National Development and Reform Commission.
"An interdepartmental working mechanism is required to form a joint force for law enforcement," said Tian Feilong, an associate professor at Beihang University's law school. "The leading group will coordinate anti-foreign sanctions actions and integrate law enforcement resources."Under Article 6 of the new law, Beijing's retaliatory measures could include the denial of visa application or entry into China, Tam said. Even for visa holders, authorities could declare their document invalid and deport them.
Furthermore, the tangible and intangible properties of individuals could be frozen or remanded and institutions could be restricted from conducting any transaction with the individuals or organisations being targeted. The law also specified that no one in the country help foreign countries implement discriminatory measures, the SCMP reported.
Individuals and organisations affected by sanctions could make claims in mainland courts, Tam added.
This comes after the US, the European Union, Britain and Canada sanctioned Chinese officials accused of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, prompting retaliatory countermeasures from Beijing.
China has used various tools to respond to pressure from foreign sanctions in the past. In January, the Ministry of Commerce issued a "blocking statute" requiring Chinese companies to report any foreign restrictions on economic or trade activities.
According to the SCMP, there have been concerns among foreign companies over the lack of transparency around the legislative process and the potential impact on businesses in China. Analysts have said that the businesses in China need to be wary of being linked to foreign entities under Chinese sanctions.