Politics

US Suspends Extradition and Tax Agreements With Hong Kong

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration on Wednesday suspended or terminated three bilateral agreements with Hong Kong covering extradition and tax exemptions, the latest in a series of U.S. moves in response to Chinas imposition of strict national security laws over the former British territory.

“The Chinese Communist Party chose to crush the freedoms and autonomy of the people of Hong Kong,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

The State Department cited Beijings violation of its pledge for Hong Kong to retain broad autonomy for 50 years after its 1997 reversion to Chinese rule.

President Donald Trump already had determined that Hong Kong was no longer eligible for the continued preferential treatment it enjoyed from the United States. The three agreements cover the surrender of fugitives, transfer, and convicted prisoners and reciprocal tax exemptions on income from international shipping.

“These steps underscore our deep concern regarding Beijings decision to impose the National Security Law, which has crushed the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

She said Hong Kong authorities had been notified earlier Wednesday of the decisions that were the result the Chinese Communist Partys “drastic steps to erode the high degree of autonomy that Beijing itself promised” to Hong Kong.

It was not immediately clear which of the agreements had been suspended and which had been formally ended, although other Western nations that have taken similar actions have suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong.

The administration has already acted to end special trade and commercial privileges that Hong Kong had enjoyed and has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials, including Hong Kongs pro-China leader Carrie Lam, involved in enforcing the new security law.

Beijing had promised Hong Kong 50 years of a “one-country, two-systems” arrangement granting the city its own customs territory and legal system after the 1997 handovRead More From Source

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