China has unveiled a sweeping foreign relations law enshrining its right to impose 'countermeasures' against actions that it deems a threat -- in Beijing’s latest bid to bolster its position amid strained relations with the West, according to a media report.
The law, coming into force from July 1, comes as China’s authoritarian government pushes back against what it sees as American efforts to suppress its development, following US export controls on some high-tech goods and efforts to reduce reliance on Chinese suppliers in the sensitive sectors, CNN reported.
The two countries have entered a period of deep suspicion and tension that marks a low point in their relations, even as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Beijing earlier this month in an effort to stabilise ties.
The new law stresses its right “to take corresponding countermeasures and restrictive measures” against acts that violate international law and norms and that “endanger China’s sovereignty, security and development interests", CNN reported.
It is China’s first foreign policy legislation of this scope and lands as Xi Jinping -- the country’s most powerful leader in decades -- has seen his drive to amplify China’s power and influence on the world stage clash with concern from the US and other nations over Beijing’s ambitions and increasingly assertive foreign policy.
The legislation was approved by a top decision-making body within China’s rubber-stamp parliament on Wednesday. Its chairman Zhao Leji hailed the law as having “great significance” for safeguarding the country and supporting “national rejuvenation” -- a nod to Xi’s vision for a powerful, modern China, CNN reported.
The release comes “amid new challenges in foreign relations, especially when China has been facing frequent external interference in its internal affairs under the Western hegemony with unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction", China’s state-run tabloid Global Times said.