Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced on Tuesday that he would freeze his extradition treaty with Hong Kong, declaring “no longer trusts in the independence of its judicial system” since China’s introduction of a new national security law.
Following the United Kingdom and Australia, New Zealand decided to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong on Tuesday, July 28, due to China’s introduction of new national security legislation in its territory.
“New Zealand can no longer have confidence in Hong Kong’s legal system sufficiently independent of China,” said Foreign Minister Winston Peters. “If China shows in the future that it adheres to the” one country, two systems “principle, we may consider this decision.”
Beijing sees the new security legislation passed this month for Hong Kong as essential to getting the former British colony in order after the sometimes violent anti-government protests last year. Critics see it as a shift towards authoritarianism.
In response, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada all signed extradition treaties with Hong Kong earlier this month, while the United States ended preferential treatment that has helped undermine territory one of the world’s financial hubs.
Tensions between China and New Zealand
Winston Peters clarified that Hong Kong would be treated in the same way as China for the export of military and dual-use technology, as part of a review of New Zealand’s overall relationship with the administrative region. special.
A note was also published to warn New Zealand citizens of the risks associated with the new national security legislation in Hong Kong, the New Zealand Foreign Minister said. The law specifically allows Chinese agents to settle in Hong Kong for the first time and extradite suspects to China.
China is New Zealand’s most important trading partner. Relations between the two countries have strained recently after the Pacific nation supported Taiwan’s participation in a World Health Organization (WHO) assembly in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.