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New Zealand suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong



Wellington (Reuters) – New Zealand has terminated its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes since China’s decision to pass a national security law for the territory, Foreign Secretary Winston Peters said on Tuesday.

“New Zealand can no longer be trusted that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent of China,” Peters said in a statement.

“If China shows adherence to the ‘one country, two systems’ framework in the future, then we can reconsider that decision.”

Beijing imposed new legislation on the former British colony earlier this month, despite protests from Hong Kong and Western residents, putting the financial center on a more authoritarian path.

Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom terminated extradition agreements with Hong Kong earlier this month. US President Donald Trump has terminated preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong.

Peters said New Zealand would treat exports of dual-use goods and technology to Hong Kong in the same way it treated those exports to China as part of a review of its overall relationship with Hong Kong.

Travel tips have been updated to warn New Zealanders of the risks posed by the new security law, he added.

In a statement on a website, the Chinese embassy in New Zealand called the decision a violation of international law and gross interference in China̵

7;s internal affairs.

“The Chinese side has expressed its serious concern and strong opposition,” an embassy spokesman said in a statement.

PHOTO: New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters arrives at a press conference after attending an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, March 22, 2019. Reuters / Murad Sezer

China reserves the right to provide an additional response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade recently exceeding $ 32 billion ($ 21 billion).

New Zealand’s ties with China have broken down recently after the Pacific state backed Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization (WHO).

Edited by Sam Holmes and Clarence Fernandez

Our standards:The principles of trust of Thomson Reuters.

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