Boris Johnson prepares to suspend UK extradition treaty with Hong Kong
Boris Johnson has all but confirmed that the UK will suspend an extradition treaty with Hong Kong owing to a national security law imposed by Beijing, bringing another clash with China following last week’s decision over Huawei.
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Speaking on a visit to a school in Kent, Johnson said Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, would explain later on Monday “about how we are going to change our extradition arrangements to reflect our concerns about what’s happening with the security law in Hong Kong”.
Raab is due to address the Commons on Monday afternoon and is widely expected to suspend extradition to Hong Kong in light of the law, which effectively criminalises most political dissent and can even target actions outside of Hong Kong or mainland China.
The US, Canada and Australia have already taken similar actions over extradition to Hong Kong.
Earlier on Monday a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, Wang Wenbin, said such a move by the UK, plus other mooted plans such as actions against individual Chinese officials due to rights abuses, would harm relations between the two countries.
“These HK-related remarks turn a blind eye to the basic facts that the national security law is for the sustained success of one China, two systems,” Wang said, referring to the system by which Hong Kong has been governed since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
“We strongly condemn these actions. We urge the UK to take no more steps down the wrong path, so as to avoid further damage to China-UK relations.”
The government said last week it would strip the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei of any role in the UK’s 5G network from 2027 owing to security concerns, which also enraged Beijing.
Source : Reuters | Photocredit : Google