On the eve of the G7 summit, the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing passed a number of bills and decisions, including the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law. China’s move is seen as inevitably deepening the conflict with the West and intensifying the game between the two sides, which will not help communication and problem solving.
U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in Britain on Wednesday (10) to prepare for a three-day G7 leaders’ summit on Friday (11), which will focus on how to deal with threats from China and Russia. On the eve of the summit, a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) concluded in Beijing on Thursday (10) with the passage of the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law. Prior to the passage of the law, the consensus was that Beijing’s move was to provide a legal basis for retaliation against foreign countries, but was not conducive to dispute resolution.
Chinese political commentator Wu Qiang said in an interview with Radio Free Asia on the same day that China’s adoption of the Anti-Sanctions Law at this time is to prepare for escalating pressure from the international community.
Wu Qiang: “China is trying to respond to the international community’s sanctions against China in this way, and she’s waiting for probably more than the previous trade talks, and the various sanctions that have been imposed around the human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and there may be more in the future, such as the issue of the origin of the new crown virus.”
Tian Feilong, an associate professor at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics School of Law, said in an interview with Hong Kong media that sanctions by European and American countries challenge the bottom line of China’s interests, and that in the past China has mainly countered through administrative measures by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Commerce, and now needs to improve the relevant legal system, arguing that the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Act is a “legal toolbox” to counter external intervention “.
China’s Overestimation of Its Own Strength Fooled Even Itself
In the past year, China has taken countermeasures against Australia on trade, but in the end, the interests of China itself have been damaged, said Feng Chongyi, a professor of China studies at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, who told the station that China is taking a tooth for a tooth approach to foreign sanctions, but often overestimates its own strength.
“Their mentality is to overestimate Xi’s prowess by far and to overestimate China’s strength by far. He sometimes fools himself into thinking they are really that powerful. He has imposed sanctions on Australia, on the European Union, believing that the EU and Australia are so economically dependent on China.”
Experience shows counter-sanctions backfire in a vicious circle
China has already retaliated by imposing sanctions on 10 European lawmakers who criticized China on issues such as Hong Kong and Xinjiang, but the EU eventually “suspended” the ratification of the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CIA) to counteract this, and the European sanctions against China continue to escalate with no sign of stopping.
According to political scientist Wu Qiang, China’s sanctions, although based on the principle of reciprocal countermeasures, actually strengthen the game with the West: “To strengthen such a confrontation, that is, to constantly increase China’s isolation and confrontation with the international community. This is in line with the results of classical game theory, where he is not seeking ways to communicate with each other, to solve the problem, to communicate with the international community and to mitigate this confrontation within the framework of the community of human destiny, which may be his main topic in the future.”
Hong Kong will cooperate with Beijing in countering the Western camp
The United States has sanctioned a number of Chinese and Hong Kong officials since last August: including Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Director Xia Baolong, Liaison Office Director Luo Huining, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Police Commissioner Tang Ping-keung, Secretary for Security Li Ka-chiu and Secretary for Justice Cheng York-wah.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Monday that she supports the National People’s Congress Standing Committee in formulating the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, saying that the SAR government has “first-hand experience” and that Hong Kong should move forward and backward together with the country.
Tian Feilong, director of the National Association for the Study of Hong Kong and Macau, said the “anti-foreign sanctions law” is a “legal weapon” to counter external intervention, and believes that Hong Kong needs to cooperate.
Tian Fei-long believes that the countermeasures will not affect the confidence of foreign enterprises in Hong Kong, and believes that under “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong should work together with the country to protect the long-term interests.