Symbolically, Beijing showed up and decided to freeze extradition agreements between Hong Kong and Ottawa, Canberra and London on Tuesday. For its part, the European Union has announced that it will restrict the export of surveillance and repression equipment in Hong Kong.
Following the measures taken by Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, China is striking back. Beijing on Tuesday (July 28th) announced the suspension of extradition agreements between Hong Kong and the three Western countries, which criticized Beijing’s introduction of a controversial law on security in the Autonomous Territories.
This retaliation from Beijing seems largely symbolic, as these states have already unilaterally repealed these treaties in protest of the new legislation in force since 30 June in the former British colony. On the other hand, New Zealand is not worried, even though it has just suspended its extradition treaty.
“These wrongdoing (…) has seriously undermined the foundations of judicial cooperation,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at a regular press conference, adding that criminal justice cooperation is also frozen.
Several Western countries, led by the United States, have called on China to reverse its national security legislation in Hong Kong. This new legislation makes the local democratic opposition fear a severe reduction of the freedoms in force in this territory of 7.5 million inhabitants, who returned to China in 1997.
The European Union condemns repression through action
The European Union (EU) will also respond and restrict the export of equipment that can be used for surveillance and repression in Hong Kong, diplomatic sources say in the Brussels report. The measure and a number of provisions to support the people of Hong Kong were formally adopted on Tuesday night by the Member States, the same source said.
The application of the security legislation introduced by Beijing in Hong Kong raises “serious concerns”, the 27 warned in the conclusions adopted on Tuesday.
“The EU is particularly concerned about the strong erosion of rights and freedoms that were intended to be protected at least until 2047,” the text specifies. Europeans are also concerned about the “extraterritorial provisions” of security legislation.
“The aim of the various measures is to express political support for the independence of Hong Kong according to the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ and solidarity for the people of Hong Kong,” the text confirms.