p08lc82y UK suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong

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Media captionInternational Secretary Dominic Raab warns Beijing: “The UK is watching and the entire world is watching”


The UK authorities will droop its extradition treaty with Hong Kong “instantly and indefinitely”.

Saying the transfer, International Secretary Dominic Raab mentioned the UK “needs a optimistic relationship” with China.


However he mentioned the “imposition” of the brand new nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong by Bejing was a “severe violation” of the nation’s worldwide obligations.

Labour mentioned it could help modifications to the legislation, calling it a “step in the proper route”.

The extradition treaty implies that, if somebody in Hong Kong is suspected of against the law within the UK, then the British authorities can ask Hong Kong at hand them over to face justice – and vice versa.

The UK fears the association – which has been in place for greater than 30 years – may see anybody it extradites to Hong Kong being despatched on to China.

Mr Raab additionally confirmed the federal government would prolong its arms embargo – which has been in place with China since 1989 – to Hong Kong, stopping the UK exporting tools, akin to firearms, smoke grenades and shackles to the area.

However China has accused the UK authorities of “brutal meddling”, insisting it was dedicated to upholding worldwide legislation.

The nation additionally promised a “resolute response” if the UK withdrew from extradition preparations.

‘The UK is watching’

Bejing launched the safety legislation on the finish of June, creating new offences which may see Hong Kong residents despatched to mainland China for trial.

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Critics mentioned it may see pro-democracy protesters within the area being served with life sentences.

Mr Raab advised MPs: “There stays appreciable uncertainty about the best way during which the brand new nationwide safety legislation might be enforced.

“I’d simply say this: the UK is watching and the entire world is watching.”

The overseas secretary additionally confirmed plans for a path to UK citizenship for round three million Hong Kongers, could be in place by early 2021, in response to the legislation.

Nevertheless, Border Pressure officers have been given the flexibility to grant go away to any candidates earlier than then.

p08kpkgw UK suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong

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Media captionTea, medication and conflict: Hong Kong’s British historical past defined

Political and financial relations between the UK and China have change into strained in latest months.

Mr Raab referenced numerous tensions throughout his speech, together with the choice by the UK authorities to ban Chinese language agency Huawei from the nation’s 5G community.

He advised MPs: “We are going to at all times shield our very important pursuits together with delicate infrastructure and we cannot settle for any funding that compromises our home or nationwide safety”

The overseas secretary additionally raised his “grave issues” concerning the “gross human rights abuses” going down in China’s Xinjiang area in opposition to Uighur Muslims, after experiences of pressured sterilisation and wider persecution of the group.

He mentioned they’d raised the difficulty along with his Chinese language counterparts and with the United Nations.

Mr Raab added: We wish a optimistic relationship with China. There’s an enormous quantity to be gained for each international locations, there are a lot of areas, the place we will work productively, constructively to mutual profit collectively.

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“For our half, the UK will work arduous and in good religion in direction of that objective. However we are going to shield our very important pursuits, we are going to arise for our values, and we are going to maintain China to its worldwide obligations.”

p08l8gxw UK suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong

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Media captionChina’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, denied experiences of a “focus camp” in Xinjiang

The change within the treaty was praised from all sides of the Home.

Shadow overseas secretary Lisa Nandy mentioned Labour “strongly welcomed” the measures, saying they need to result in a “new period” within the two international locations’ relationship.

“This should mark the beginning of a extra strategic method to China based mostly on an moral method to overseas coverage and an finish to the naivety of the ‘golden-era years’,” she advised MPs.

“Like him, our quarrel just isn’t with the people of China, however the erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong, the actions of the Chinese language authorities within the South China Sea and the appalling therapy of the Uighur people is purpose now to behave.

“We will be unable to say in future years that we didn’t know.”

However some referred to as for the federal government to go additional.

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael needed motion on imports from China – particularly round surveillance tools – whereas the SNP’s Margaret Ferrier referred to as for sanctions in opposition to people chargeable for human rights violations.

Members of the federal government’s personal benches urged for the following steps too.

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Tory MP and former defence minister Tobias Ellwood mentioned: “For many years we’ve turned a blind eye to China’s democratic deficit and human rights violations within the hope that it could mature into a worldwide, accountable citizen [but] that clearly hasn’t occurred.

“Can I ask the secretary of state, is that this now the turning level that we drop the pretence the China shares our values, given its actions… [and] can we’ve a strategic overhaul of our overseas coverage in relation to China?”

Mr Raab mentioned the federal government was finishing up an built-in evaluation about its technique.