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China passes ‘anti-sanctions' legislation

China's National People's Congress (NPC) has passed legislation to counter foreign sanctions including those recently introduced by Washington to stem the flow of US technologies and investments to the Chinese military-industrial complex. The move is the latest milestone in China's ‘decoupling' from the United States and its associated efforts to achieve self reliance in military technologies.

The NPC said in a statement on 10 June that the new Anti Foreign Sanctions Law will “safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and organisations of our country”.

The law introduces four areas of countermeasures: the refusal of visas or deportation; sealing up, seizing, and freezing movable, immovable and other types of property in China; and prohibiting or restricting transactions and co-operation with organisations in China. The law also includes “other necessary measures”.

Article 15 of the legislation states that the countermeasures are a response to foreign countries and organisations that “implement, assist, or support acts” that endanger China's sovereignty, security, and interests.

The law was passed one week after the Biden administration made its first official move against Chinese corporations thought by the US government to have close links with the Chinese military and its supporting industrial base. The directive is aimed at disrupting China's military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy, which encompasses technologies, industry, and investments.

An executive order (EO) issued by the White House on 3 June banned US companies from investing in 59 firms designated by the US government as ‘Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies' (CMIC).

An accompanying CMIC list includes Chinese firms known as defence enterprises, including the China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco), and corporations – such as Huawei – that are known primarily as commercial-technology groups.

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