Hong Kong/Beijing: Amid growing conflict, China on Tuesday announced a decision to suspend extradition and judiciary assistance treaties between Hong Kong and Canada, Australia and Britain.
"Lately, Canada, Australia and the UK, citing the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong SAR as an excuse, unilaterally suspended extradition agreements with the HKSAR. Such actions constitute gross interference in China's internal affairs and grave violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. China firmly opposes that," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a press briefing.
"Under the framework of these agreements, the Hong Kong SAR, with the Central Government's assistance and mandate and in accordance with the Basic Law, has offered assistance to the Canadian, Australian and British sides," he said.
"By wrongfully politicizing judicial cooperation with Hong Kong, the three countries have seriously damaged the foundation for such cooperation and deviated from its purpose of upholding justice and rule of law," he said.
The Chinese official said: "Therefore, China has decided that the Hong Kong SAR will suspend its agreements on surrendering fugitive offenders with Canada, Australia and the UK. At the same time, China has decided that the Hong Kong SAR will suspend its agreements on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters with Canada, Australia and the UK."
The national security law for Hong Kong, approved by the Chinese parliament, took effect June 30. The law sets out rules to prevent, stop and punish four types of crimes committed in Hong Kong, including separatist activities, attempts to undermine state power, terrorist activities, and colluding with foreign states or forces located abroad to endanger national security.
The law caused discontent by anti-government forces in Hong Kong and a number of Western officials, who saw in it Beijing's desire to tighten control over the autonomy.
Image: Chinese Foreign Ministry website
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