New Zealand Now 4th Country to Suspend Extradition Treaty With HK
Canada, Australia & UK had earlier suspended their extradition treaties, following a new national security law.
New Zealand on Tuesday, 28 July, reportedly suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong becoming the fourth country to do so, following the passage of a controversial national security law by China that “punishes secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or external forces”.
After Canada, United Kingdom and Australia, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said that they had also made a number of other changes following China’s decision to impose a new law for the autonomous territory, Reuters reported.
Fresh protests were reported from Hong Kong in May, following reports of the draft resolution being presented in China’s legislature.
“New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China. If China in future shows adherence to the ‘one country, two systems’ framework then we could reconsider this decision,” Peters reportedly said in a statement.
However, the Chinese embassy in New Zealand reportedly called the decision a “violation of international law and gross interference in China’s internal affairs,” in a statement.
New Zealand’s announcement comes in the wake of even the US adopting a stricter stance on China. On 15 July, US President Donald Trump signed an order to end preferential treatment for Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China," the president had told reporters at the White House. Trump said he had also signed bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on Chinese officials who crack down on rights in Hong Kong.
NZ Foreign Affairs Minister Peters said “New Zealand will treat military and dual-use goods and technology exports to Hong Kong in the same way as it treats such exports to China” while reviewing its overall relationship with Hong Kong.
Citizens of New Zealand have reportedly been appraised of the "risks presented by the new security law.”
India, too, has raised concerns at the 44th session of United Nations Human Rights Council in July, over the safety of the sizeable Indian community in Hong Kong amid the rising tensions in the country after Beijing passed a new national security law which on paper applies to every person in the world.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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