The government of Hong Kong has announced the suspension of extradition and legal treaties with Ireland and the Netherlands in retaliation for the European states’ similar moves in objection to Beijing’s national security law.
The government of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) confirmed the news in a statement, saying it had “issued notices” to the consulate-generals of the two countries.
It comes after Ireland and the Netherlands joined other EU nations, the UK and the US in suspending their extradition treaties with Hong Kong this year, citing concerns over the national security law introduced by Beijing in June.
A spokesman for the HKSAR Government said it “firmly objects” to the two countries’ unilateral suspension of agreements. “Such moves are open interference in China’s internal affairs and a violation of international law,” he said.
He added that the two countries had used China’s enactment of its national security law “as an excuse” for suspending the agreements, saying that their “politicized” actions had “damaged” relations with Hong Kong.
At the time of Ireland’s suspension of the treaty, its foreign minister Simon Coveney had expressed concern at the “erosion of judicial independence promised under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle” in Hong Kong.
On Tuesday the HKSAR government said it had also issued notices to the consulates of other European countries regarding the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders (SFO) agreement. The deal with France would be “shelved,” the statement said, while its implementation with Germany and Finland would be “suspended.”
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