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China ends extradition deals with Australia, Britain, Canada

Chinese national flags fly over the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Chinese national flags fly over the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

July 28 (UPI) -- The Chinese government said Tuesday that Hong Kong will suspend agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance to Australia, Britain and Canada after those countries ended their deals with Hong Kong.

The move follows a series of actions led by the United States ending special agreements with Hong Kong after mainland China imposed strict new security laws for the region that critics say targeted pro-democracy activists.

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The suspensions Tuesday did not include New Zealand, although it also ended an extradition agreement with Hong Kong.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Tuesday said the moves by Australia, Britain and Canada interfere in Beijing's internal affairs and violate international law.

"The wrong action of Canada, Australia and [Britain] in politicizing judicial cooperation with Hong Kong has seriously hurt the basis of judicial cooperation," Wang said.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act that imposed sanctions against China for restricting the island's freedoms in its new security law -- which criminalizes secession, sedition, subversion, terrorism and working with foreign agencies in Hong Kong to undermine the national security of China.

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Beijing said the law was needed to maintain order after mass pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that began last year.

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