In addition to the anti-sanctions law, China also issued a Data Security Law yesterday, which includes some good news and some not-so-good news.

I will start with the good news:
1. The law explicitly mentions in two provisions that China will safeguard and promote the free flow of data, which is consistent with China’s new position on data flow in the RCEP;
2. China will actively participate in the making of international rules on data security and standards. This is consistent with China’s active participation in the WTO JSI negotiations on e-commerce, which was analyzed extensively in my paper at….
Now let me turn to the not-so-good news:
1. In most countries, data protection laws focus on personal data. In China, however, there is also the highly ambiguous concept of “important data”, as mentioned in Art. 31 of the Cybersecurity Law.
Now Data Security Law creates yet another type called “core data”, which is more important than important data & subject to the most stringent restrictions. “Core data” includes those on national security, lifeline of national economy, key people's livelihood, public interests.
There seems to be a lot of overlap between "core data" and important data on “critical information infrastructure”, which as I discussed in this paper is a rather vague concept:…
2. Under Cybersecurity Law, review on data transfer is only required for important data collected and generated by operators of critical information infrastructure.
Under Data Security Law, however, even the transfer of important data collected and generated by other data processors could be subject to security review, subject to the rules to be made by the Cyberspace Administration of China.
3. Data security issues will now be decided and coordinated by the Central National Security Commission of the Chinese Communist Party.

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More from @henrysgao

10 Jun
The key provisions are Art 4-6.
A few things to note:
1. It cast a very wide net. For example, Art. 4 covers any individuals and organizations directly or indirectly involved in the formulation, decision and implementation of the foreign sanctions.
This could potentially cover the legislators, government officials, law enforcement officers, or even banks or companies who implement foreign sanctions.
Art. 5 goes even further, by covering the spouse and immediate family members for individuals, and management or related companies of the sanctioned entities or individuals.
Read 9 tweets
10 Jun
The full text of China's anti-sanctions law just came out. Below is a rough machine translation.
Read 4 tweets
27 May
Time to compare notes again: This morning
@USTradeRep @AmbassadorTai had a phone call with Chinese vice Premier Liu He.

The two readouts from @USTradeRep and MOFCOM both emphasized two points:
1. They had a “candid exchange”;
2. They will have "future discussions".
Translating the diplomatic speak into normal language:
1. There are many disagreements;
2. They had so many disagreements that they have to wait until the next time to try to sort out the issues.
Now let's play the game of "spot the difference":
1. @USTradeRep: @AmbassadorTai discussed the "guiding principles of the Biden-Harris Administration’s worker-centered trade policy and her ongoing review of the U.S.-China trade relationship, while also raising issues of concern".
Read 8 tweets
18 Apr
A thread on U.S.-China Joint Statement Addressing the Climate Crisis. Eng version:…;
Chinese version:…
1. Finally we have a statement where the English and Chinese versions mirror each other rather than speaking their own languages.
2. But this doesn't mean that we can't learn anything from the joint statement. Instead, we can learn a lot from this!

Let's compare, for example, the last sentence of the first paragraph: ImageImage
Eng: Both countries recall their historic contribution to the development, adoption, signature, and entry into force of the Paris Agreement through their leadership and collaboration.
Chn: 双方回顾两国气候变化领域的领导力与合作,为巴黎协定的制定、通过、签署和生效作出历史性贡献。
Read 12 tweets
2 Apr
It has been 3 months since China issued its Blocking Statute yet it has never been used. But this may change now.

At a press con held on Mar 25, MOFCOM spokesperson mentioned, in response to a question on the US sanctions on Iran, that China would:
"firmly safeguard the normal economic and trade cooperation between China and Iran and its legitimate rights and interests"

"If the extraterritorial application of relevant foreign laws and measures violates international law and basic norms of international relations,
and damages the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens, legal persons or other organizations, China will carry out relevant work in accordance with relevant legal provisions, and firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security & development interests"
Read 10 tweets
25 Feb
Let me try to translate USTR-designate Katherine Tai's opening statement before Senate Finance Committee:
"I previously served as America’s chief enforcer against China’s unfair trade practices":
I've taken WTO cases against China, and won (see rare earth).
"I know firsthand how critically important it is that we have a strategic and coherent plan for holding China accountable to its promises and effectively competing with its model of state-directed economics":
Trade agreements are not just for soybeans. There will be more.
"I know the opportunities and limitations in our existing toolbox".
I will make full use of the existing tools: trade remedies, Sec 301, national name it.
I will also beef up the existing rules.
Read 6 tweets

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