France halts ratification of Hong Kong extradition treaty
“In light of the latest developments, France will not proceed as it stands with the ratification of the extradition agreement signed on May 4, 2017 between France and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.Updated: Aug 04, 2020 04:23 IST
France on Monday said it was halting ratification of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong over China’s controversial national security law for the city, just hours after Beijing suspended a similar pact with New Zealand.
“In light of the latest developments, France will not proceed as it stands with the ratification of the extradition agreement signed on May 4, 2017 between France and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, China suspended Hong Kong’s extradition treaty with New Zealand.
France and New Zealand are the latest to join a string of Western powers including Canada, UK, Australia and Germany that suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong since the controversial law was introduced in late June.
China has already hit back by suspending Hong Kong’s extradition treaties with Canada, Britain and Australia. “New Zealand’s practices... grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said while announcing Beijing’s decision to suspend any judicial cooperation with Wellington.
Critics say the security law will erode civil liberties and human rights enjoyed by residents in the former British colony, which was returned to China in 1997.
New Zealand has also tightened restrictions on military and dual-use exports to Hong Kong.
Chinese and Australian diplomats sparred on Twitter over Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea following Australia’s endorsement of a US statement that it would recognise virtually none of China’s territorial claims there.
Australia recently filed a memorandum with the United Nations saying the claims were “without legal basis,” plunging Canberra into the controversy that has drawn angry responses from Beijing. Australian High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell tweeted on Thursday he told Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar that China’s moves were “destabilising and could provoke escalation.”Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong responded on Friday by accusing O’Farrell of “disregarding facts,” writing: “It’s clear who safeguard peace&stability & destabilise&provoke escalations in the region.”
O’Farrell shot back saying China should follow a 2016 international tribunal ruling that rejected most of Beijing’s claims.