Downing Street is reviewing its extradition agreement with Hong Kong as Beijing accused the UK of a "gross interference" in Chinese affairs after t
Downing Street is reviewing its extradition agreement with Hong Kong as Beijing accused the UK of a “gross interference” in Chinese affairs after the imposition of a restrictive security law. Amid increasing tensions, No 10 said on Monday that the agreement was being reconsidered with the former British colony in the wake of the controversial legislation. Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, Tobias Ellwood, explained the West is heading towards another Cold War.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Ellwood said: “This is the fundamental question the West needs to ask itself.
“We’ve become too risk averse, we can complain about China using its veto at the UN or ignoring WTO rules or indeed pushing its military out in the Sout China Sea.
“But we’re not collectively willing to stand up as the West to defend what we believe then we really can’t complain too loudly about China’s actions.
“This is the bigger question that we must ask ourselves, are we willing to draw those lines and defend what we believe in?
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“Where this goes over the next 10 years is very alarming indeed.
“We’re heading towards another Cold War is we don’t come together with a conservative effort to say these international laws have served us well for the last 75 years are not fit for purpose anymore because we’ve got China running across them.”
It comes as the Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming defended the law that clamps down on liberties as necessary to “prevent, suppress and punish collusion with a foreign country”.
And he accused Westminster of “political manipulation” for offering around three million Hongkongers the right to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for citizenship.
A short while later, Downing Street urged China not to interfere if British National (Overseas) nationals sought to come to the UK and said Britain is “also reviewing extradition arrangements with Hong Kong”.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “We are currently assessing the national security law and its legal ramifications in terms of extradition with Hong Kong.
“There are already extensive extradition safeguards in the UK.
“The courts are required to bar a person’s extradition to any country if it would be incompatible with their human rights or if the request appears to be motivated by their political opinion.”