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China halts HK extradition treaties with Canada, Australia, UK in retaliation

Beijing

CHINA announced the suspension on Tuesday of Hong Kong's extradition treaties with Canada, Australia and Britain in a tit-for-tat move following similar decisions by those countries over a controversial new security law.

Western nations have angered Beijing over their responses to the law imposed on Hong Kong which they see as an erosion of the civil liberties and human rights the city has enjoyed since its handover from Britain in 1997.

The United States has decided to rescind Hong Kong's special trading privileges while Washington's "Five Eyes" intelligence partners have suspended their extradition treaties with the city, with New Zealand on Tuesday joining Canada, Britain and Australia. New Zealand says it can no longer trust that Hong Kong's criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China," Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said in a statement.

The United States has signalled it was preparing to do the same.

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China has accused the countries of interfering in its internal affairs and defended the security law as crucial to restore order in Hong Kong following a wave of pro-democracy protests marred by violence. AFP

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