As Xi consolidates power, China issues major foreign policy law

(CNN) — China has introduced a sweeping foreign relations law that includes the right to impose „countermeasures” against actions it deems threatening, in Beijing’s latest move amid strained relations with the West.

The law, approved this Wednesday and set to take effect July 1, comes as China’s authoritarian government rebels against U.S. efforts to curb its growth. US export restrictions Efforts to reduce dependence on Chinese suppliers in some high-tech products and critical sectors.

Both countries have entered a period of deep mistrust and tension, marking a low point in their relations. US Secretary of State Anthony BlinkenHe visited Beijing earlier this month in a bid to cement ties.

The new law asserts their right to „take appropriate countermeasures and control measures” against actions that violate international law and norms and „endanger China’s sovereignty, security and development interests.”

It is the first Chinese foreign policy act of this scope and comes at a time when Xi Jinping – the country’s most powerful leader in decades – has seen his drive to expand China’s power and influence on the world stage diminish. The United States and other countries are concerned about Beijing’s ambitions and its increasingly assertive foreign policy.

The law was approved by the highest decision-making body of China’s parliament on Wednesday. Its president, Zhao Lejie, hailed the law as „of great importance” in protecting the country and supporting „national rejuvenation,” endorsing Xi’s vision of a powerful and modern China.

„The release comes amid new challenges in foreign relations, particularly as China faces frequent external interference in its internal affairs under Western hegemony with unilateral sanctions and far-reaching jurisdiction,” Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times reported.

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It provides a legal basis for the diplomatic fight against sanctions, anti-intervention and extraterritorial jurisdiction and enriches the „legal toolbox” to protect the national interest, the outlet added, citing experts.

In recent months, the U.S. has blacklisted Chinese companies allegedly involved in surveillance programs and is involved in Russia’s war in Ukraine, has pressured allies to limit semiconductor exports to China, and urged other advanced economies to counter Beijing’s „economic coercion” and „taunting.” supply chains, amid concerns about the security challenge Beijing poses.

Chinese authorities consider it a direct attack. In his meeting with Blinken earlier this month, Xi told the US ambassador that Washington should not „harm China’s legitimate rights and interests” or take away its „legitimate right to development”.

Beijing has long condemned Washington’s use of sanctions as a tool of US foreign policy, and in 2021 passed a Foreign Sanctions Act aimed at combating measures imposed overseas to serve Chinese interests.

Beijing began imposing its own sanctions.

In February, China approved US defense firms Lockheed Martin and Raytheon for arms sales to Taiwan, a self-governing democracy claimed by the ruling Communist Party.

G’s worldview

However, the new law does not include any additional anti-sanctions tools, according to Suisheng Zhao, director of the Center for US-China Cooperation. from the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

„This is the first comprehensive foreign relations law… but (reads) like Xi Jinping’s foreign policy manifesto,” Zhao said, adding that his release comes as Xi focuses on countering what he sees as US efforts. China must be controlled.

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„Xi is trying to mobilize everything in his power, including so-called legal instruments, to counter 'Western control’,” he said.

The new law also includes improvements to several of Xi’s signature foreign policy initiatives on global security, development and „civilization,” and reaffirms China’s declared opposition to „hegemony” and „power politics.”

Although the party, not the state, is ultimately responsible for Chinese politics in general, the law expressly places control of international relations in the hands of the ruling Communist Party. Following the trend of consolidating power in society and industry by the Party and its leader, appoints the Party’s Foreign Affairs Committee as the decision-maker.

„It is the party, not the government, that guides China’s foreign relations. What was previously an unwritten 'shared understanding’ has now been codified into concrete law,” said Wen-Di Chung, a political scientist at the Australian National University in Taiwan. studies.

This, as well as Xi’s inclusion in the Global Initiatives Act, refers to periods of what Chinese diplomats call „wolfing” in foreign policy, which he said is „the Chinese leader’s way of reminding officials to obey orders from the top and align with the top.” Warriors” are over-looked or Missing the shot.

The law also includes China’s commitment to „high degree of opening” of China’s economy, development of foreign trade and promotion of foreign investment, and promotion of legal protection.

In recent months, A Propaganda It has settled foreign companies in China against companies acting as consultants and due diligence.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang emphasized a similar message at the World Economic Forum summit in Tianjin this week and during a trip to Europe earlier this month. Chains by reducing reliance on China in some sectors.

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Amid tensions with the United States and concerns about its own domestic economic problems, China has stepped up its engagement with Europe in an effort to mend ties fractured by its failure to condemn Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

„But in the meantime, they don’t want to make any concessions,” Zhao said in Denver. And for Xi, „He cannot show any weakness because he has so many internal problems.”

„That is why he has to step up on all fronts, including legal documents, to prove his position and his determination to uphold China’s so-called national interest,” he added.

CNN’s Mengchen Zhang reported for this article.

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