UK suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta

Britain has suspended an extradition treaty with Hong Kong in protests of China’s security law imposed on Hong Kong.

Foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, disclosed the decision on Monday July 20, 2020, while addressing members of parliament.

He said that the security law gives China enormous power over the city, but undermine the sovereignty of the former British colony.

The motive behind the decision is fear that if Britain extradites anyone to Hong Kong, the person might end up being sent to China to face trial.

Speaking on the motive of Britain’s decision, Raab said, “We want a positive relationship with China. There’s a huge amount to be gained for both countries, there are many areas, where we can work productively, constructively to mutual benefit together.

“For our part, the UK will work hard and in good faith towards that goal. But we will protect our vital interests, we will stand up for our values, and we will hold China to its international obligations.”

The announcement came amidst preparation to receive the U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is on a two-day visit to London.

While responding to the Britain’s decision, Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, said Britain was going down the wrong path and advised it not to go ahead with the plan.

“Stop going further down the wrong path,” he said.

Britain further showed its stance against the security law, denounced by many other countries, as it offered many Hong Kong residents citizenship in case they are forced to leave the city.

As part of the plan, Britain has made provision to give 12-month renewable visa to 350,000 people with British National passports and more 2.5 million eligible for the passports.

This would enable them to work and possibly put them in a position to eventually attain British citizenship.

As Britain explores all possible means to express its condemnation of the China’s security law on Hong Kong, it has excluded Huawei, Chinese technology company from taking part in installing Britain’s 5G wireless network.

Making reference to this, Raab said, “We will always protect our vital interests including sensitive infrastructure and we won’t accept any investment that compromises our domestic or national security.”

This decision came following what seemed like a push from the U.S that urged Britain to exclude Huawei from participating in its 5G network installation.

As the decision holds, by the end of 2020, no Huawei products would be used by British 5G providers. And there is a move to have Huawei’s technology completely removed by 2027.

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