Now, China suspends extradition agreement with New Zealand

WION Web Team
Beijing Updated: Aug 03, 2020, 02:30 PM(IST)

Protests in Hong Kong Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

New Zealand's foreign minister Winston Peters had said that his country 'no longer trusts that Hong Kong's criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China.'

In a tit-for-tat move on Monday, China's foreign ministry said it will suspend its extradition agreement with New Zealand after the Jacinda Ardern government last week had suspended the extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

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New Zealand moved after China imposed the national security law amid worldwide criticism. New Zealand's foreign minister Winston Peters had said that his country "no longer trusts that Hong Kong's criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China."

"China's passage of its new national security legislation has eroded rule-of-law principles, undermined the 'one country, two systems' framework that underpins Hong Kong’s unique status, and gone against commitments China made to the international community," Winston Peters said.

New Zealand's neighbour Australia including Britan and Canada have already suspended their extradition agreements with Hong Kong amid the security law controversy. Germany has also suspended the extradition treaty with Hong Kong last week.

German foreign minister Heiko Maas said that decision was due to Hong Kong's government's "decision to disqualify a dozen opposition candidates for the election and to postpone the elections." 

Meanwhile, Switzerland's foreign minister Ignazio Cassis said that China was "straying away" from the path of openness. "If China abandons the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle in the case of Hong Kong, it also affects many Swiss companies that have invested there," Cassis told a local newspaper.

Amid the large scale protests and resulting criticism, Hong Kong had last week postponed local elections for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak as China's state media reported that Hong Kong police have ordered the arrest of six pro-democracy activists living in exile on suspicion of violating the national security law.

The list included Nathan Law who has fled to the UK after China imposed the harsh new security law.

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