UK suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (file image)

The UK government suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong on Monday, weeks after China imposed the National Security Law in the semi-autonomous territory.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the “imposition” of the new national security law in Hong Kong by Bejing was a “serious violation” of the country’s international obligations

This move comes weeks after the UK banned the use of Chinese Huawei-produced equipment for 5G networks from the end of the year citing security threat. The moves to suspend the Extradition treaty will further deteriorate Beijing and London relations.

According to the extradition treaty, if someone in Hong Kong is suspected of a crime in the UK, then the British authorities can ask Hong Kong to hand them over to face justice – and vice versa.

Earlier, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, had threatened that China will make a “resolute response” if the UK government goes that far to impose sanctions on any individuals in China.

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China’s imposition of Hong Kong nationals security law has been followed by rapidly worsening relations between Beijing and London. Britain said the new national security law breaches agreements made before the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to Chinese rule, and that China is crushing the freedoms that were supposed to remain for at least 50 years.

The UK has already agreed to let up to 3 million Hongkongers with British National (Overseas) passports to relocate there, with a path to British citizenship, citing Beijing’s violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Britain will become the latest country to cut off fugitive-transfer arrangement with its former colony. Canada and Australia have suspended their treaties with Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the United States is expected to announce a similar move next week.

New Zealand has also said that it is reassessing the legal instrument as part of a “deliberate, considered review” of its relations with Hong Kong.

(With ANI inputs)

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