UK suspends Hong Kong extradition and extends arms embargo on China.
The UK will follow the example of the US, Canada and Australia in suspending extradition arrangements with Hong Kong
The UK has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong “immediately and indefinitely”, Dominic Raab has announced.
The Foreign Secretary also announced the UK would extend its arms embargo on China to Hong Kong.
It means British firms will no longer be allowed to export potentially lethal weapons, including those which might be used by the Chinese government for “internal repression” on the people of Hong Kong.
China has been subject to an EU-wide arms embargo since 1989, following the use of the People’s Liberation Army by the Chinese government to suppress demonstrations in Beijing.
Mr Raab insisted the UK wants “good co-operation” with China, but added: “We won’t accept any investment that compromises our domestic and national security”
The Foreign Secretary said China’s national security law was “a clear and serious violation of the UK-China joint declaration”.
And the UK has “grave concerns about the gross human rights abuses being perpetrated against the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang”, he said.
He said a “bespoke route” for people from Hong Kong to come to the UK will be ready by 2021, with more details to be confirmed this week.
The new measures are in response to China’s imposition of a tough new national security law on Hong Kong amid growing tensions with Beijing.
The UK will follow the example of the US, Canada and Australia, all of whom have suspend their extradition treaties with Hong Kong because of the impact of the security law on the territory.
It means someone in the UK who’s suspected of a crime in Hong Kong will no longer be handed over to Hong Kong’s authorities – and vice versa.
But the move risks further infuriating Beijing which was already smarting over the Government’s decision last week to exclude the tech giant Huawei from the UK’s 5G network – reversing a decision in January allowing it a limited role.
Raab announced the UK will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, “immediately and indefinitely”.
He told MPs: “We would not consider reactivating those arrangements unless and until there are clear and robust safeguards which are able to prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the new national security legislation.”
He said Articles 55 to 59 of the new national security law allow mainland China to assume jurisdiction over Hong Kong cases, and try them in mainland Chinese courts.
Mr Raab also announced the UK will extend to Hong Kong the arms embargo that’s already applied to mainland China since 1989.