tds_animation_stack India U.Ok. to droop extradition treaty with Hong Kong

U.Ok. to droop extradition treaty with Hong Kong

Britain’s government says it will be making changes to its extradition treaty with Hong Kong on Monday, after China imposed a tough new national security law.

As tensions grow with Beijing, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he has concerns about the new law and about alleged human rights abuses in China, particularly in regard to the treatment of the Uighur minority. He promised to be “tough” but to not completely abandon a policy of engagement with China.

“There is a balance here,” Johnson said during a visit to a school. “I’m not going to be pushed into a position of becoming a knee-jerk Sinophobe on every issue, somebody who is automatically anti-China.”

Johnson says he will leave it to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to outline the extradition changes in a statement to the House of Commons later in the day.

Raab said Sunday it can no longer be “business as usual.” He is reportedly planning to follow the example of the U.S., Australia and Canada by suspending extradition arrangements with the territory.

The review of the extradition measures comes only days after Britain backtracked on plans to give Chinese telecommunications company Huawei a role in the U.K.’s new high-speed mobile phone network amid security concerns fuelled by rising tensions between Beijing and Western powers.

China warns of ‘interference’

Johnson’s government has criticized China’s decision to impose a sweeping new national security law on Hong Kong. The U.K. has accused the Beijing government of a serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration under which the U.K. returned control of Hong Kong to China in 1997, and announced it would open a special route to citizenship for up to three million eligible residents of the community.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will outline the changes to the extradition treaty with Hong Kong in a statement to the House of Commons on Monday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

Beijing has objected to the move. China’s ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming, recently described the offer as “gross interference” in Chinese affairs.

Liu told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday that Britain was “dancing to the tune” of the U.S. and rejected the allegations of human rights abuses against the mainly Muslim Uighur people.

He accused Western countries of trying to foment trouble with China. 

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

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