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21 Jul, 2020 10:43

Correct mistakes or face ‘counterattack’, Beijing says, after London suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty

Correct mistakes or face ‘counterattack’, Beijing says, after London suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty

The UK will suffer consequences unless it reverses its decision to suspend the Hong Kong extradition treaty, China has warned. The suspension came in response to a new national security law put in place in the autonomous region.

“China urges the UK to give up its fantasies of continuing colonial influence in Hong Kong and immediately correct its mistakes,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a daily press conference in Beijing. He added that China planned to “make a forceful counterattack to the UK’s wrong actions”.

The remark comes a day after the British government froze an extradition treaty that had permitted the government of Hong Kong to retrieve suspected criminals hiding in the UK.

Also on rt.com UK suspends extradition arrangement with Hong Kong ‘immediately and indefinitely’ over new national security law

The action was taken in response to Beijing’s new national security law, which allows its law enforcement agents to become directly involved in preventing attempts to sever the autonomous region from Chinese sovereignty. London considers the law a violation of the obligations China took upon itself when Hong Kong was returned to Beijing in 1997, having been a British colony for over 150 years.

The security law was passed after months of anti-Beijing protests and rioting in Hong Kong. The Chinese government said it was necessary to maintain public order and, contrary to what the British government believed, did not infringe on the region’s traditional freedoms.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the extradition treaty had to be suspended due to concerns that it would be “misused” under the new Chinese legislation.

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The relationship between the UK and China suffered another serious blow last week, after London kicked the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei out of Britain’s ongoing upgrade of mobile networks to the 5G format. Already installed Chinese equipment is to be weeded out of Britain by 2027.

Beijing said that London has demonstrated a lack of independence in foreign policy, and that economic relations between the two countries would suffer as a result.

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