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UK will change extradition agreement with China: PM Johnson

This article is more than 12 months old

LONDON: Britain will make changes to extradition arrangements with China and Hong Kong, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, citing concerns over new national security laws imposed on the former British colony by Beijing.

"We obviously have concerns about what's happening in Hong Kong," Mr Johnson said.

"You'll be hearing a bit later on from the Foreign Secretary about how we're going to change our extradition arrangements to reflect our concerns about what's happening with the security law in Hong Kong."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who on Sunday accused China of gross human rights violations, is set to announce the details of the suspension in Parliament, the Times and Daily Telegraph newspapers said, citing sources.

Mr Johnson said changes would reflect concerns over the security law, but did not specify what those changes would be.

"We've got to have a calibrated response and we're going to be tough on some things, but also are going to continue to engage," Mr Johnson said.

In Beijing, when asked about the reported suspension of extradition arrangements, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin urged Britain to "stop going further down the wrong path".

BREACHES

Britain says the new security law breaches the guarantees of freedoms, including an independent judiciary, that have helped keep Hong Kong one of the world's most important trade and financial centres since 1997.

Hong Kong and Beijing officials have said the law is vital to plug holes in national security defences exposed by recent pro-democracy and anti-China protests.

China has repeatedly told Western powers to stop meddling in Hong Kong's affairs.

On Sunday, the Chinese ambassador to Britain warned of a tough response if London attempted to sanction any of its officials, as some Conservative Party lawmakers have demanded.

"If the UK government goes that far to impose sanctions on any individual in China, China will certainly make a resolute response to it," the ambassador told the BBC.

Mr Raab told the same programme he would not be drawn on future additions to Britain's sanctions list, but he denied that Britain would be too weak to challenge China through this channel. - REUTERS

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