China says it is suspending Hong Kong's extradition agreement with New Zealand

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Pedestrians walk past a government-sponsored advertisement promoting a new national security law in Hong Kong.

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Pedestrians walk past a government-sponsored advertisement promoting a new national security law in Hong Kong.

China says it is to suspend Hong Kong’s extradition agreement with New Zealand, according to reports.

New Zealand had already suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong last week. The move means New Zealand no longer agrees to deport any person to Hong Kong.

That sparked an angry response from China, which accused New Zealand of interfering in its “internal affairs”.

On Monday, news agency Reuters reported that a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson had announced that China was suspending its own treaty with New Zealand – but no such extradition treaty exists between NZ and China.

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According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the announcement is understood to refer to the Hong Kong agreement – meaning the treaty is now formally suspended by both parties.

Three of New Zealand’s allies in the Five Eyes security alliance – Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom – had already taken similar measures, including the suspension of extradition treaties with Hong Kong. Some proposed “safe haven” visas for Hong Kong residents wanting to leave.

China also accuses the UK of interfering in Chinese internal affairs.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters said that China had “gone against” its commitment to the international community by passing the security law, and has undermined the “one country, two systems” arrangement.

After the New Zealand move, the Chinese Embassy in Wellington issued a statement saying it had “lodged its grave concern and strong opposition” to New Zealand’s decision to suspend the extradition treaty.

“The New Zealand Government’s decision is a serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. It is a gross interference in China’s internal affairs,” the statement said.

China also last week suspended Hong Kong’s extradition treaties with Australia, Canada and the UK, in response to those countries suspending their extradition treaties with Hong Kong.

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