New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced yesterday, 28 July, the suspension of extradition arrangements with Hong Kong. New Zealand is the last of the ‘Five Eyes’ allies to take action in response to the passing of a controversial Chinese national security law. In his statement, the Foreign Minister said that the new law meant that “New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China.”
Changes to the export of military or ‘dual-use’ technologies which may have military application to Hong Kong were also announced. In future, exports of this kind to Hong Kong will be treated in the same fashion as those to China.
New Zealand has updated travel advice to the region for its citizens due to the risks posed by the new security law, which could see those extradited to Hong Kong, being sent to mainland China subsequently. The Chinese embassy responded with “strong opposition” to what it considers to be unlawful interference in its internal affairs. China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner and the move will undoubtedly place further strain on relations between the two nations.