News China suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty with Australia

China suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty with Australia

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China has suspended Hong Kong’s extradition treaty with Australia, UK and Canada in a tit-for-tat response to similar moves by those countries.

Australia had suspended its extradition agreement with Hong Kong earlier in July as a response to China’s imposition of new security laws on the territory.

The UK suspended its treaty “immediately and indefinitely” on July 20 due to concerns the controversial legislation imposed could allow cases to be transferred to mainland China.

Beijing has retaliated in similar terms.

Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the actions by Australia, the UK, and Canada in relation to the Hong Kong special administrative region (SAR) constituted “gross interference in China’s internal affairs and severe violation of international law and basic norms of international relations”.

Attacking the “wrong move” by the three countries, he added: “China has decided that the Hong Kong SAR will suspend its agreements on surrendering fugitive offenders and on mutual assistance in criminal matters with Canada, Australia and the UK.”

Beijing’s response came as New Zealand joined its allies in suspending extradition arrangements with Hong Kong.

Foreign minister Winston Peters said: “New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China.”