Hong Kong moves to implement China’s anti-sanctions law

Chief Executive Carrie Lam says she conveyed to Beijing that law will be implemented ‘through local legislation’

ANKARA (AA) – Hong Kong confirmed that it will implement China’s anti-sanctions law of the mainland through local legislation, the city’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

“The view I submitted … I said I support doing it through local legislation. This is because I am quite certain that some external forces, foreign governments or some western media will speculate on this … to try and weaken (Hong Kong’s) status as a financial hub and weaken various sectors’ confidence in Hong Kong,” said Carrie Lam, addressing a news conference.

Early this year in June, China’s top legislative body passed a law approving legal backing for sanctions against any foreign entity. It allows Chinese authorities to seize properties of those sanctioned, deny visas among other measures.

“It’s necessary for China to formulate the anti-foreign sanctions law, as the law provides strong legal basis and support for China to counteract foreign discriminatory measures,” Wang Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, had said.

Beijing recently used the law against individuals and entities from the US after Washington sanctioned Chinese officials over Hong Kong.

China has received criticism from western countries after Beijing imposed controversial national security law in Hong Kong, a former colony of the UK, in July last year. The move came after year-long anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong in 2019.

It followed radical electoral reforms in Hong Kong early this spring.

Lam said she believes the anti-sanctions law “should be incorporated into Annex 3 of the Basic Law by way of local legislation, so it can be better explained — instead of being promulgated directly by Beijing like the national security law” — official RTHK News reported.

The chief executive said she had “already conveyed her views on this to the central government.”

“Local legislation will allow us to better explain the implementation of the anti-sanctions law in Hong Kong, its legal framework, procedure and so on.”

However, she emphasized the anti-sanctions law “is only retaliatory in nature.”

“Pay attention. The law is called ‘anti-foreign sanctions law’. It’s a countermeasure, but not an active one. The nation is not actively sanctioning anybody or any organizations. When somebody unreasonably sanctions national organizations or Hong Kong officials, we must have the ability to counter it,” said Lam.

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