Canada suspending extradition treaty with Hong Kong

Jul 3 2020, 10:55 am

In what he said is the federal government’s response to concerns over the passage of national security legislation for Hong Kong by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Philippe Champagne, said in a statement on Friday that Canada “is suspending” the Canada-Hong Kong extradition treaty.

“Canada joins the international community in reiterating its serious concern at the passage of national security legislation for Hong Kong by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China,” said Champagne. “This legislation was enacted in a secretive process, without the participation of Hong Kong’s legislature, judiciary or people, and in violation of international obligations.

It was a process, he continued, that “demonstrated disregard for Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the high degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework.”

Hong Kong’s role “as a global hub was built on that foundation,” he added. “Without it, Canada is forced to reassess existing arrangements.”

In addition to the treaty suspension, Champagne said that “effective immediately, Canada will treat exports of sensitive goods to Hong Kong in the same way as those destined for China. Canada will not permit the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong.”

The federal government has also updated its Hong Kong travel advice for Canadians, in order to advise “of the potential impacts of the new national security legislation.”

Moving forward, said Champagne, “Canada will continue to support the many meaningful exchanges between Canada and Hong Kong, while standing up for the people of Hong Kong.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also spoke about the announcement on Friday, saying “we are extremely concerned about the situation in Hong Kong [and] we will continue to look at responses working closely with our allies.”

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