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Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress to convene 30th session

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Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress to convene 30th session

China
Photo: Xinhua

The Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress will convene today to discuss draft laws and revisions across social, economic and legal policy.

As China’s top legislature, the Committee is responsible for amending and enacting laws. Additionally, the group’s ability to shape proposed legislations makes it one of the Communist Party’s most powerful bodies.

A notable agenda item is deliberation on inserting additional national laws into Annex III of Hong Kong Basic Law. This allows for the possibility of adding China’s recent Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, which permits retaliatory measures by Beijing against anti-China sanctions. In China’s increasingly tit for tat foreign relations, applying the law would open the door for a measures to be taken against Western critics of Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong.

Expect the Standing Committee to propose including the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law in Annex III. Beijing has used the pandemic to further control the territory and remains unlikely to relent. Doing so increases Chinese leverage to respond to Western critics, but elevates aggression reserved for Hong Kong to the international level. The law will be unlikely to deter sanctions related to Hong Kong but would move the city closer to a breaking point in the long-term.

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Photo: AP/ Carly Petesch

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