New Zealand said on Tuesday it has suspended the extradition treaty with Hong Kong in the aftermath of China's decision to pass a national security law for the self-ruled territory. "New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong's criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China," Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said in a statement, Reuters reported.
"If China in future shows adherence to the 'one country, two systems' framework then we could reconsider this decision," Peters added.
China imposed the new law on Hong Kong this month, in a move that takes away the privileges the former British colony enjoyed for more than two decades. The new security law also triggered protests in Hong Kong as well as in Western nations.
Travel Advice Updated
Australia, Canada and the U.K. all suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong earlier this month. U.S. President Donald Trump has ended preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong.
Peters said New Zealand will treat military and dual-use goods and technology exports to Hong Kong in the same way as it treats such exports to China as part of a review of its overall relationship with Hong Kong.
Travel advice has been updated to alert New Zealanders to the risks presented by the new security law, he added.
In a website statement, the Chinese embassy in New Zealand called the decision a violation of international law and gross interference in China's internal affairs.
"The Chinese side has lodged its grave concern and strong opposition," an embassy representative said in the statement.
China is New Zealand's largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade recently exceeding NZ$32 billion ($21 billion).
New Zealand's ties with China have frayed recently after the pacific nation backed Taiwan's participation at the World Health Organization (WHO).
(With inputs from Reuters)