UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced that the UK is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong “immediately and indefinitely”.
Speaking to MPs in the House of Commons on Monday, the Foreign Secretary repeatedly stated that the UK wanted a positive relationship with China but said that the country had committed a “serious violation” of its international obligations through the introduction of the new national security law in Hong Kong.
An extradition treaty usually helps to speed up the process of an extradition (where a person is delivered to the law enforcement of a country where they are accused or convicted of committing a crime). The UK’s suspension of its treaty follows similar actions taken by the US, Canada and Australia.
Mr Raab also announced that the UK will extend to Hong Kong the arms embargo that has been applied to mainland China since 1989. Speaking to MPs, Raab said;
“The extension of this embargo will mean there will be no exports from the UK to Hong Kong of potentially lethal weapons, their components or ammunition”
He added that the export of any equipment from the UK to Hong Kong that might be used for internal repressions, such as shackles and smoke grenades, will also be banned.
Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy has said the opposition “strongly welcome” both of the measures announced by Mr Raab, but called on the Foreign Secretary to speak to other key allies including Germany to ensure there is a “coordinated international response”.