UK suspends extradition agreement with Hong Kong amid tensions with Beijing

UK suspends extradition agreement with Hong Kong amid tensions with Beijing
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The British government has suspended its extradition agreement with Hong Kong following a new Chinese national security law that critics say undoes the city’s autonomy from Beijing.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the country’s arms embargo on China will also be expanded to Hong Kong, The Associated Press reported.

“We will protect our vital interests,″ Raab said. “We will stand up for our values and we will hold to China to its international obligations.″

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The newly passed national security law has attracted international criticism from those who say it flouts the city’s “one country, two systems” arrangement, and the U.K. has accused Beijing of violating the 1997 agreement under which it relinquished control of the city. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has also announced the U.K. will announce a path to citizenship for up to 3 million eligible Hong Kong residents.

Chinese ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming has accused the U.K. of “gross interference” in China’s domestic affairs, according to the AP, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the U.K. is “dancing to the tune” of the Trump administration.

“People say China [is] becoming very aggressive. That’s totally wrong,” he told the BBC “China has not changed. It’s Western countries, headed by United States — they started this so-called new Cold War on China.”

Beijing has previously accused the U.S. of “gangster tactics” on Hong Kong. “Unreasonable meddling and shameless threats by the United States are typical gangster logic and bullying behaviour,” China’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong said last week.

Liu also denied reports of human rights abuses in China’s eastern Xinjiang Province, largely against the predominantly Muslim Uighur ethnic group. An AP investigation uncovered a program of aggressive, forced birth control against the Uighurs and other minority groups, including mandatory sterilization or intrauterine devices, as well as the threat of detention for ethnic minorities who have more than two children.