China is planning to introduce a new law that protects its firms from foreign sanctions, state media reported Monday, as it looks to build its defences against rising US pressure. The country’s legislature debated a draft law on opposing foreign sanctions, state television reported without offering further details.

Only last week Beijing accused the United States of “suppressing” Chinese firms and issued veiled threats of retaliation after President Joe Biden expanded a blacklist of companies Americans are barred from investing in. Both Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump have targeted businesses in China seen as a threat to US national security due to their links to Beijing’s military apparatus.

The list of 59 Chinese firms that are off-limits to American investors from August 2 includes major telecoms such as China Mobile, video surveillance firm Hikvision, China Railway Construction Corp, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

The new law is expected to be passed next year, state news agency Xinhua also reported. Beijing has long complained about the extra-territorial application of US law through sanctions and restrictions on trade.

In January, China pushed back against international sanctions by allowing Chinese courts to punish companies that comply with foreign laws that damage national interests — putting global firms that follow US sanctions in legal jeopardy.

Earlier rules announced by the country’s Ministry of Commerce also said businesses or people in China do not need to comply with foreign restrictions.