Britain Suspends Hong Kong Extradition Treaty

  • Earlier, Canada, Australia, and the United States suspended extradition agreements with Hong Kong.
  • Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Britain was "going the wrong way," and called on London to "avoid further deterioration of Sino-British relations.
  • Raab also blasted technology company Huawei and China for its treatment of Uighur Muslims.

The United Kingdom has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, “immediately and indefinitely,” in protest of China’s new security law in Hong Kong. They are they fourth country to do so. China, on the other hand, has expressed outrage at the decision, warning that Britain is “going the wrong way.”

Dominic Rennie Raab is a British politician serving as First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since July 2019. A member of the Conservative Party, he has also been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Esher and Walton since 2010.

Earlier, Canada, Australia, and the United States suspended extradition agreements with Hong Kong. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday announced the suspension of the extradition law with Hong Kong. The British government has repeatedly called the national security law a “a clear and serious violation of the UK-China joint declaration,” under which Hong Kong was transferred from Britain to China in 1997.

“The imposition of this new national security legislation has significantly changed key assumptions underpinning our extradition treaty arrangements with Hong Kong,” Raab said in Parliament Monday. “I have to say that I am particularly concerned by articles 55 to 59 of the law, which give mainland Chinese authorities the ability to assume jurisdiction over certain cases and to try those cases in mainland Chinese courts.”

“I should also tell the House that we will not consider reactivating those arrangements unless and until there are clear and robust safeguards that can prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the new national security legislation,” Raab added.

Raab said the UK sought a “positive, constructive, mature and reciprocal relationship” with China. However, he said that the new security law was “a clear and serious violation of the UK-China joint declaration, and with it a violation of China’s freely assumed international obligations.”

Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said that Britain would take a “tough” stance on China, but would not end its foreign policy relations with it.

“One country, two systems” is a constitutional principle formulated by Deng Xiaoping, the Paramount Leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), for the reunification of China during the early 1980s. He suggested that there would be only one China, but distinct Chinese regions such as Hong Kong and Macau could retain their own economic and administrative systems.

“China is a giant factor of geopolitics, it’s going to be a giant factor in our lives and in the lives of our children and grandchildren,” he said. “You have got to have a calibrated response and we are going to be tough on some things but also going to continue to engage.”

China, meanwhile, has criticized the British move. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Britain was “going the wrong way,” and called on London to “avoid further deterioration of Sino-British relations.” China had earlier said Britain was interfering in its internal affairs, and would retaliate if Britain persisted.

It is to be noted that before announcing the suspension of the extradition treaty, the UK had terminated the agreement with the Chinese company Huawei for the technology used in 5G. According to the British government’s decision, the country’s mobile providers have been banned from purchasing any kind of device from the Chinese company since December 31.

On the other hand, the British Foreign Secretary recently accused China of violating the human rights of the Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang province on a “grave and serious scale,” and against the Chinese authorities responsible for it. The ban cannot be denied. Analysts say Britain is trying to send a strong message to China through these measures.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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