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Update on Sino-U.S. Relations

The National People’s Congress of China postponed Friday’s expected action to apply China’s anti-sanctions law to Hong Kong, and postponed a possible showdown with financial institutions that comply with US penalties against Hong Kong.

Hong Kong executives worry that China’s rubber stamp legislature, the National People’s Congress, will immediately impose its laws on Hong Kong. National Security Legislation last year.

According to people familiar with the matter, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress hopes to have more time to study the impact of the Anti-Sanctions Law on Hong Kong. “The anti-sanctions law is a tool, but China is still exploring how to use it,” said one of the people familiar with the matter. “How Hong Kong should use this tool needs more discussion.”

If the National People’s Congress later applies the law to Hong Kong, it can also give Hong Kong time to draft a local version of the legislation.

In June, the National People’s Congress hurriedly passed its own version of the bill in a secret procedure, codifying Earlier regulations Adopted by the Ministry of Commerce of China.

The law gives the Chinese government the power to punish companies and individuals that comply with sanctions imposed by foreign governments (especially the United States).Washington has Targeted It said that Chinese and Hong Kong officials are responsible for suppressing the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

Some Hong Kong banks refused to accept deposits and other businesses from U.S. sanctioned officials, including Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who complained last year that she was trapped in “Piles of cash“In the country due to sanctions.

Albert Chen, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, said that Hong Kong usually does not make major changes to Chinese laws. “Hong Kong has not really changed the laws of the mainland, but adjusted them,” he said, noting that the Hong Kong government may modify certain penalties to make them more in line with its common law tradition.

However, China’s anti-sanctions law gives Beijing broad discretion to punish parties that comply with foreign sanctions, so it is unlikely to do so in a way that undermines Hong Kong’s role as the country’s most important financial center.

The Chinese government has not yet exercised its powers under the anti-sanction law or the provisions of the Ministry of Commerce. Beijing has never fulfilled its long-standing threat of designating and punishing certain multinational companies because they are “Unreliable entity“Part of the reason is the fear of hurting companies that have a large labor force in China and pay a lot of taxes.

Zhang Anqi, director of the Center for Chinese Law Studies at the University of Hong Kong, said Beijing hopes that the threat of countermeasures will at least “inspire [US companies] Lobbying Washington Lift the sanctions against China”.

U.S. President frustrated Xi Jinping’s government Joe Biden’s resistance Cancel or even alleviate many punitive measures implemented by former President Donald Trump in response to Beijing’s Hong Kong policy, Xinjiang And trade.

Only one week after the Biden administration updated the Trump-era rules, China’s anti-sanctions law was passed by the National People’s Congress. Prohibition of U.S. investment Among dozens of Chinese companies.

Supplementary report by Liu Xinning in Beijing

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