After the approval of the questioned security law in Hong Kong imposed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), New Zealand decided to suspend the existing extradition treaty.
A spokesman for New Zealand’s foreign ministry told Taiwan News that the country will reconsider its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. His words were, “There will be a stocktake of New Zealand-Hong Kong relationship settings. Any decisions New Zealand takes, including in relation to extradition, will be the result of this assessment.”
The New Zealand government’s decision comes after it became known that Canada and Australia suspended their respective extradition treaties with Hong Kong. It should be remembered that the three countries, together with the United States and Great Britain, are part of Five Eyes.
New Zealand had been the focus of some criticism, after being absent from a joint statement signed by the other members of Five Eyes, condemning the national security law, which the statement said circumvents the semi-autonomous city’s legal system and shows a lack of commitment to the “one country, two systems” concept agreed between the Chinese regime and HK’s authorities.
The statement reads, “Direct imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong by the Beijing authorities, rather than through Hong Kong’s own institutions as provided for under Article 23 of the Basic Law, would curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous. (…) It also raises the prospect of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes, and undermines existing commitments to protect the rights of Hong Kong people.”
In a dialogue with Stuff, a New Zealand media, Winston Peters, New Zealand’s foreign minister, said, “New Zealand is keen to see the confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ framework under which Hong Kong is assured a high degree of autonomy (…) the security law would restrict the freedoms of Hong Kong citizens and ‘erode’ the autonomy of the city,” Peters continued.
When asked why New Zealand did not join its Five Eyes partners in condemning the law, a Peters’s spokeswoman said New Zealand sometimes chose to make a statement alone on important issues. He added, “What is important is that we share the deep concerns expressed by other democratic countries in their statements overnight about the introduction of this legislation. This is clear from Minister Peters’s statement.”
As reported by various media, the United States revoked the special status that Hong Kong has enjoyed for decades. And Congress passed a bill that would impose sanctions on officials it believes have helped in some way to erode Hong Kong’s autonomy, including Chinese Communist Party police authorities who have treated protesters harshly, as well as banks that do business with them.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom agreed to admit nearly 3 million Hong Kongers who have, or are eligible to receive, a British passport abroad to work in the country on renewable one-year visas, with a path to citizenship.