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BRITAIN suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and enforced an arms embargo on the Chinese territory today in response to its new national security law.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab claimed in the Commons that the measures were a “reasonable and proportionate” response to the law passed in Beijing.
He said that the suspension of the treaty would be enacted “immediately and indefinitely” because of concerns that the security legislation could allow suspects to be extradited from Hong Kong to face trial in mainland China.
An embargo on arms sales to mainland China, in place since 1989, will now be extended to cover Hong Kong because of the extra powers that Beijing now has for maintaining the territory’s internal security.
Mr Raab said: “The extension of this embargo will mean there will be no exports from the UK to Hong Kong of potentially lethal weapons, their components or ammunition.
“It will also mean a ban on the export of any equipment not already banned which might be used for internal repression such as shackles, intercept equipment, firearms and smoke grenades.”
Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths accused the British government of being hypocritical in its condemnation of China.
He said: “China’s new security law contains no new powers that do not already have their equivalent in Britain, where they apply to the autonomous countries of Scotland and Wales and can be extended to the Isle of Man and the Channel Isles at the stroke of a secret pen.
“It is not surprising that the Chinese authorities are determined to take action against Hong Kong separatists who wreck parliamentary chambers and civilian airports and viciously beat peaceful bystanders who disagree with them.”
Mr Raab’s actions came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a “tough” but “calibrated” response to Beijing.
Chinese social media app TikTok has withdrawn from talks with the Department for International Trade on siting its headquarters for non-China business in Britain, which could have created 3,000 jobs.
And last week, the government told Chinese tech company Huawei that it would have its technology removed from Britain’s 5G telecoms network by 2027 following pressure from US President Donald Trump.
Tight sanctions imposed on China by Mr Trump in May meant that the security of Huawei’s equipment could not be guaranteed.
The firm was told that geopolitics had played a part in the U-turn.
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