China suspends extradition treaty with New Zealand over Hong Kong

Kyodo News

Posted at Aug 03 2020 06:12 PM

BEIJING - China on Monday announced the suspension of an extradition agreement with New Zealand, which has recently suspended its handover treaty with Hong Kong, the Chinese territory where a controversial national security law came into effect in June.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters that China has decided to suspend an agreement for the transfer of fugitive offenders from Hong Kong to New Zealand.

Wellington's "unilateral" practice "grossly interferes in China's internal affairs and seriously violates international laws and regulations," Wang added.

Last week, New Zealand suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, saying it can "no longer trust" in the independence of the semiautonomous territory's criminal justice system in the wake of Beijing's imposition of the national security law there.

New Zealand followed Australia, Canada and Hong Kong's former colonial ruler Britain in suspending extradition arrangements with the Chinese territory in response to the legislation.

In late June, the National People's Congress Standing Committee, China's top legislative body, enacted the security law, prohibiting acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces in Hong Kong.

Under China's "one country, two systems" policy, Hong Kong was promised it would enjoy the rights and freedoms of a semiautonomous region for 50 years following its return to Chinese rule in 1997.