China Unveils New “Application” Of Its Laws

In an effort to safeguard the government in Beijing from international penalties, China’s rubber-stamp legislature enacted a “Foreign Relations Law” on Wednesday that aims to increase the “extraterritorial application” of Communist legislation.

The state-run media rambled on about “fixing loopholes in the rule of law” and protecting the regime from continual outside interference in its domestic affairs but finally admitted that the Foreign Relations Law would provide “a legal basis for the diplomatic struggle against sanctions.”

The law enacts few novel provisions but does codify measures already implemented by dictator Xi Jinping, further consolidating his control over international affairs and making the retaliatory actions taken by China in response to Western sanctions automatic.

Inheriting China’s long-term diplomatic stance and position on the international rule of law, codifying policies and systems for foreign affairs management into national law, and providing a legal interpretation of and elaboration on a slew of new ideas and initiatives in global governance are all claims made by legal experts who have studied the new law. 

A sentence complaining about U.S. sanctions against China’s spy activities and human rights violations was the closest the Chinese Communist daily went to articulating what the Foreign Relations Law truly achieves.

To facilitate coordination and constructive contact among major nations, the legislation mandates the development of a global partnership and promotes an all-encompassing, multi-level, wide-ranging, and three-dimensional external work arrangement.

Regarding sanctions, the United States stands alone as a global powerhouse. 

According to a study published by the Chinese Foreign Ministry in February on US’ long-arm jurisdiction, the number of active US sanctions designations by fiscal year 2021 had climbed to more than 9,400. Sanctions imposed by the United States on China have increased in recent years due to various issues related to technology, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the Ukraine conflict.

On Thursday, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi was more direct, saying that the country’s Foreign Relations Law is meant to be a “deterrent” against sanctions.

To put it another way, as soon as other nations apply penalties against China for utilizing forced labor or stealing their intellectual property, the massive bureaucracy of the Chinese regime will get to work, creating all sorts of punitive measures and setting them up to detonate automatically. If Wang and his diplomatic team try to reason China out of taking retaliatory measures, the country will shrug and declare that it is happening automatically anyhow.

Hong Kong’s long-awaited anti-sanctions law, which could have allowed China to seize assets from the many foreign companies doing business in Hong Kong if their national governments imposed sanctions against China, was left out of the Foreign Relations Law. 

Officials in Hong Kong are understandably concerned that if China enacts such legislation, billions of dollars in foreign capital may seek refuge elsewhere.