DHARAMSALA, 28 July: New Zealand has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong as it declared that it “can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system,” in the wake of China’s imposition of the controversial national security law in Hong Kong.
“New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China,” Winston Peters, New Zealand’s foreign minister has said in a statement on Tuesday as the Kiwis suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.
The minister has added that New Zealand will reconsider its decision.
“If China in future shows adherence to the ‘one country, two systems’ framework then we could reconsider this decision.”
Additionally, Peters has sated henceforth his country “will treat military and dual-use goods and technology exports to Hong Kong in the same way as it treats such exports to China as part of a review of its overall relationship with Hong Kong.”
New Zealand has also updated its travel advice to alert New Zealanders to the risks presented by the new security law.
According to Morley Chow Seto, a Hong Kong criminal law firm, Hong Kong has operating extradition agreements with 18 countries.
Of the lot, New Zealand has become the fourth country to suspend the treaty. It now joins the likes of Canada, Australia and the UK.
Meanwhile, the US will soon follow suit as the Foreign Policy reported that the Trump administration will announce the decision in a matter of weeks.
The development has infuriated Beijing and China’s embassy in New Zealand has hit back by declaring it a “gross interference in China’s internal affairs”.
“The New Zealand government’s decision is a serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations,” read a statement issued by the embassy.