China has warned the UK against further damaging their relationship, in response to reports that London will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong as a result of Beijing’s new national security law there.
The British media has reported that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is expected to announce the suspension of its Hong Kong extradition treaty in parliament, which would further fray ties between China and the UK. The 30-year-old arrangement means that, if a person in the UK is wanted to stand trial for a crime in Hong Kong, the authorities would send them back there, and vice versa.
“We strongly condemn these actions,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press briefing Monday. “We urge the UK to take no more steps down the wrong path, so as to avoid further damage to China-UK relations.”
Britain has previously voiced concerns about China’s response to protests in Hong Kong, and its new national security law there. In response, it has offered five-year residency to three million Hong Kongers. China has accused London of interfering in its affairs in the former British colony, which was returned to Beijing in 1997.
Wang said the UK is turning “a blind eye to the basic facts that the national security law is for the sustained success of One China, Two Systems,” referring to the arrangement China has with Hong Kong. He added that China would react resolutely to actions that interfere in China’s internal affairs, Reuters reports.
Hong Kong has seen large West-supported protests against the national security legislation, which came into force at the end of June. It outlaws secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, and gives China more control. Its critics fear it will be used to quash dissent and affect Hong Kong’s special autonomous status.
Earlier, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, also promised a “resolute response” if London imposes sanctions over what UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called Beijing’s “gross and egregious” human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims.
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