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Beijing’s proposed law against foreign sanctions will end in tragedy: academics

Chinese academics have warned that Beijing’s proposed new anti-sanctions law will result in tragedy, and place the country in self-isolation if implemented.

Beijing-based independent scholar Wu Qiang told Apple Daily in an interview that if enacted, the consequences might be tragic as this would only escalate the confrontation between China and the international community. More serious conflicts might break out, he warned.

The draft for anti-sanctions law, which has been tabled in the country’s top legislature for a second reading on Monday, is expected to pass on Thursday as the National People’s Congress Standing Committee concludes its session.

It is believed to be in retaliation for the sanctions imposed by the United States on 14 vice chairpersons of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, other mainland Chinese and Hong Kong officials, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Lam defended the law on Tuesday, saying Hong Kong authorities “very much welcome and support the legislation.” She told a press briefing that “it would provide legal backing for future countermeasures and pay foreign countries back in their own coin.”

“This kind of interaction, this kind of revenge, is actually suicidal,” Wu countered, saying that this kind of confrontation was not conducive to the current situation, where China was “highly dependent” on the international community.

If enacted, the consequences might be tragic, he warned, as this would only escalate the confrontation between China and the international community.

The proposed law was redundant, said veteran China watcher Johnny Lau, because the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union against those Chinese officials were “limited in effect” and more as a gesture of strength than as a real threat.

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