Canada restricts dealings with Hong Kong over new security law
The relationship between Canada and China remains extremely strained
OTTAWA — Canada is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong as part of a package of responses to the new security law China has imposed on the territory, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said July 3.
Canada will also treat sensitive goods being exported to Hong Kong as if they were being sent to mainland China.
“Effective immediately, Canada will not permit the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong,” Trudeau said in a news conference.
China imposed strict new controls on Hong Kong this week, meant to give Beijing more power to police anti-government protests and other activities it considers the work of hostile foreign powers.
Trudeau suggested the new law is a threat to the “one country, two systems” philosophy that was supposed to last 50 years after Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.
Canada’s relationship with Hong Kong, including freer trade and travel than is allowed between Canada and mainland China, depends on that principle, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a separate statement.
“We will continue to support the many connections between Canada and Hong Kong while also standing up for its people,” Trudeau said.
Canada’s moves follow measures taken by the United States earlier this week to tighten trade with Hong Kong and stop selling it military equipment.
Britain announced that up to 2.6 million Hong Kong residents will be able to move to the United Kingdom for up to five years and ultimately seek citizenship. Those are holders of special overseas British passports that have had much more limited rights attached to them until now.
Trudeau hinted that something similar might be in the works in Canada.
“In the days and weeks to come, we’re also looking at additional measures, including around immigration,” he said.
The relationship between Canada and China remains extremely strained. China is holding two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, on national-security charges that Canada considers retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in 2018 on a U.S. extradition warrant.