Chinese President Xi Jinping has introduced a new law to crack down on the US. On Saturday, the law will come into force allowing China to take measures to combat “suppression of China’s development”.
In concrete terms, the new law is intended to counter foreign sanctions. Boudewijn Poldermans, a sinologist and board member of the China Business Council of the Netherlands, says this is a kind of ‘defense mechanism’ to protect China’s interests and maintain the stability of the political system. ‘The Chinese economy is floundering and there are all sorts of other problems. It’s the Chinese president’s attempt to show who’s boss if China is threatened with sanctions.
The law will go into effect on Saturday, July 1, not coincidentally the centennial of the Chinese Communist Party. ‘That also plays a role in the background to show: we are not afraid of foreign countries’, Boldermans says.
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The new law doesn’t just apply to US sanctions, but according to Boldermans, it’s also aimed at other Western countries that are making things difficult for China with all kinds of sanctions. For example, foreign organizations and individuals will not be allowed to enforce foreign sanctions under the new law. ‘Otherwise, as a company, you are at risk, for example, of not being allowed to expand, not being granted permits or not being granted visas for foreign workers.’
Recently, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited China and met President Xi Jinping there. The meeting raised hopes that relations between the two superpowers are improving. ‘Blingen has at least tried to open the communication channels again, but it has only partially succeeded,’ says Boldermans.
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According to Boldermans, Blinken tried to reopen communication channels at the military level as well. But the Chinese don’t like that. In 2018, the Americans announced sanctions against China’s defense minister after he declared Russian aircraft and weapons. The Chinese want him off the sanctions list first.’
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