The UK Withdraws From Extradition Agreement With Hong Kong
The UK suspends participation in the extradition agreement with Hong Kong, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain, Dominic Raab. According to him, the UK immediately suspends the extradition agreement indefinitely. Also, the embargo already in force against China on the supply of military and police equipment will be extended to Hong Kong; this comes amid an escalating conflict with the Chinese authorities after they passed the national security law in Hong Kong.
The agreement has been in force for more than 30 years, but British authorities fear that now after the national security law comes into force, Britons who were sent to Hong Kong for trial may be transferred to China. Besides, the suspension of the Treaty is seen as an expression of Britain's displeasure with what is happening in Hong Kong.
Previously, Britain, which owned Hong Kong until 1997, accused China of violating the guarantees of compliance with the "one country, two systems" policy, which the Chinese side gave during the negotiations on the transfer of Hong Kong to China and which were recorded in the joint Sino-British Declaration on the transfer of Hong Kong, signed in December 1984 by the heads of government of the two countries, Zhao Ziyang and Margaret Thatcher. It was reported that the British authorities, in connection with the introduction of the security law, expanded the right to reside in the UK and made it easier for those Hong Kongers who have a British passport abroad (British Overseas National passport, BNO) to obtain British citizenship. Such passports were issued in Hong Kong from 1987 to 1997, and now there are about 350 thousand holders of such passports, and another 2.6 million Hong Kongers are eligible for it.
Similar extradition agreements were signed by Hong Kong with 19 other countries. However, recently, for the same reason as the UK, the agreement was suspended by Canada and Australia. Furthermore, several major technology companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram, announced the suspension of data transfer to the Hong Kong authorities. The TikTok app has stopped working in Hong Kong. The New York Times has decided to move its employees from Hong Kong to Seoul.