US ends extradition treaty with Hong Kong over national security law
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said the U.S. is ending three key bilateral agreements with Hong Kong, the latest in a series of punitive measures against Beijing for its recent imposition of a Chinese national security law on the territory.
Pompeo said the U.S. will terminate its extradition agreement with Hong Kong and refuse to transfer sentenced persons to the territory.
The other measures include ending “reciprocal tax exemptions on income derived from the international operation of ships,” Pompeo said.
The moves are part of an executive order President Trump signed last month ending America’s special relationship with Hong Kong as separate from the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.
“These steps underscore our deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose the National Security Law, which has crushed the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong,” Pompeo said in a statement.
Beijing’s application of a national security law on Hong Kong has been condemned by the U.S., Europe and pro-Democracy protesters in the territory who say the Chinese central government is violating Hong Kong’s autonomy.
The national security law allows Beijing to operate its security services in the territory and carries harsh penalties for vague criminal offenses related to secession, subversion and terrorist activities.
China’s crackdown on Hong Kong is one element of spiraling relations between Beijing and Washington. Tensions have increased in recent months over the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as cybersecurity concerns and China’s claims over the South China Sea.
The U.S. closed the Chinese consulate in Houston last month over allegations of spying; the Chinese government responded by closing the American consulate in Chengdu.
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