Expressing 'strong concern' over China's new law, Canada warns citizens from travelling to Hong Kong

Canada has also suspended the Canada-Hong Kong extradition treaty.

Published: 04th July 2020 01:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2020 01:09 PM   |  A+A-

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Photo | AP)


ONTARIO: Canada has also joined the international community in expressing "strong concern" over China's new national security legislation in Hong Kong and updated advisory warning citizens from travelling to the special administrative region citing potential impacts of the new legislation.

Canada's foreign minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement posted on his official Twitter page on Friday that "This legislation was enacted in a secretive process, without the participation of Hong Kong's legislature, judiciary or people and in violation of international obligations."

"This process demonstrated disregard for Hong Kong's Basic Law and the high degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong under the 'one country, two systems' framework. Hong Kong's role as a global hub was built on that foundation. Without it, Canada is forced to reassess existing arrangements," he said.

"Effective immediately, Canada will treat exports of sensitive goods to Hong Kong in the same way as those designated for China. Canada will not permit the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong," the Canadian minister added.

Canada has also suspended the Canada-Hong Kong extradition treaty.

"The Government of Canada will continue to work with partners to protect human rights and the rule of law around the world," Champagne said.

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"Canada will continue to support the many meaningful exchanges between Canada and Hong Kong, while standing up for the people of Hong Kong," he said further.

According to media reports, several pro-democracy activists are fleeing their homeland. Nathan Law, a former lawmaker and pro-democracy activist, on Thursday, announced on his Facebook that he has left Hong Kong, with China imposing the national security law in the city.

Chinese government has appointed Zheng Yanxiong as head of a powerful new agency being established in Hong Kong to oversee implementation of controversial national security law.

The Chinese Parliament on Tuesday passed the controversial legislation for Hong Kong, ignoring the worldwide outcry and protest in the semi-autonomous city against the law.

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The Hong Kong government has no jurisdiction over the national security agency in Hong Kong and its staff when they were discharging duties provided in the law.

According to the new law, arson and vandalising public transport with an intent to intimidate the Hong Kong government or Chinese government for political purposes will constitute acts of terrorism, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.

The law also states that certain national security cases will be held behind closed doors without juries in Hong Kong if they contained state secrets, although the verdict and eventual judgements would be made public.

As per the new law, Beijing will be setting up an office for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong, with personnel dispatched from relevant Chinese security agencies. 

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