China urges Canada to correct mistake on extradition treaty

China has condemned Canada's suspension of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - China condemned Canada's suspension of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, calling it a "serious violation" of international law and a "flagrant interference" in its domestic affairs.

"We urge the Canadian side to correct its mistake and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's domestic affairs to prevent further damage to bilateral relations," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing in Beijing on Monday (July 7), responding to a question about new Canadian measures including the treaty's suspension and an updated Hong Kong travel advisory.

"China condemns that and reserves the right to take further actions," Mr Zhao said.

"All consequences shall be borne by the Canadian government."

Shortly following the briefing, the Chinese embassy in Canada advised Chinese citizens travelling to the country to exercise caution citing "frequent use of violence from local law enforcement" and protests in Canada, according to the embassy's official WeChat account.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced measures including the suspension of the extradition treaty last week, making his country the first to break law enforcement links with Hong Kong since China handed down a sweeping new national security law that's raised concerns about the city's autonomy from the mainland.

Hong Kong's large expatriate community includes some 300,000 Canadians.

Mr Trudeau's move stands to inflame already heightened tensions between Canada and China stemming from the 2018 arrest in Vancouver of Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

Her case has been closely linked to Beijing's subsequent detention of two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were charged with espionage last month.

Other steps announced by Mr Trudeau will include a ban on the export of sensitive military equipment to the Asian financial hub Hong Kong and a travel advisory warning of the security law's impact.

Hong Kong has extradition pacts with 30 countries and jurisdictions around the world.

"Canada's erroneous remarks on Hong Kong and its measures show a disregard of the basic fact that the national security law in Hong Kong is conducive to the sustained implementation of 'one country, two systems,'" Mr Zhao said.

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