İrem UZUN -TDO- The United Kingdom suspended its extradition treaty and blocked arms sales with Hong Kong on Monday after China imposed a tough new national security law and was accused of forcibly sterilizing ethnic minority women in Xinjiang.
As tensions grow with Beijing, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he had concerns about the new law and alleged human rights abuses in China, particularly the treatment of the Muslim Uighur minority. He described the measures as "reasonable and proportionate". "We will protect our vital interests,'' Raab said. "We will stand up for our values and we will hold China to its international obligations.''
The extradition treaty means if someone in Hong Kong is suspected of a crime in the UK, then the British authorities can ask Hong Kong to hand them over to face justice - and vice versa. China has accused the UK of "brutal meddling" in its affairs.
The UK has already offered residency rights and a path to UK citizenship to around three million Hong Kongers in response to the law's imposition. Beijing has insisted it is committed to upholding international law and has promised a "resolute response" if the UK withdraws from extradition arrangements. "They are in grave violation of international law as well as the basic principles of international relations, and grossly interfering Chinese internal affairs," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, urging the UK "to stop going further down the wrong path to avoid further jeopardizing the China-UK relationship."