Us Hong Kong Extradition Agreement

April 14, 2021

In addition, the termination of the contractual commitment also risks completely severing extradition cooperation, even if it is technically still feasible. While extraditions can technically be carried out between jurisdictions that do not have an existing contract, the absence of such a contract means that extradition proceedings are subject to obstacles and therefore cannot guarantee legitimate transfers of refugees who have committed serious crimes such as murder, rape and drug trafficking. In this sense, some of these suspended contracts also have provisions that give the required party the right to reject politically-related extradition requests. In the case of the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong, it provides that the agreement “excludes political offences from the obligation to transfer.” The suspension of the treaty by the United States followed similar measures by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, which are among the 20 countries that signed the agreement with HKSAR. China, for its part, condemned the measures taken for the resulting harm on the basis of judicial cooperation. “China is asking the United States to immediately correct its mistakes,” State Department spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a news conference announcing the suspension of the mutual legal aid agreement. Following in the footsteps of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, the United States submitted its extradition agreement with Hong Kong on Wednesday as well as a bilateral agreement on the revenues of international ships. The 1998 extradition treaty between the United States and HKSAR provides a legal basis for the surrender of refugees who have committed crimes in both jurisdictions. With the pause of this bilateral agreement, experts say, it is severely undermining judicial cooperation.

Later, Zhao addressed all the countries that have suspended previous agreements with Hong Kong: “By imposing sanctions, they want to force the Chinese government to change its position, but that is just a dream.” Hong Kong asserted that the bilateral agreements did not constitute preferential treatment and stated that they had been negotiated on behalf of both parties. In previous cases of Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, China responded by immediately suspending extradition agreements and “criminal justice cooperation agreements” between Hong Kong and its former partners. The U.S. action provoked a similar reaction: China also suspended the aforementioned agreements. Beijing called on the United States to “immediately correct its mistakes” after denouncing bilateral agreements with Hong Kong. Trump said he wanted to punish China for what he called “oppressive actions” against the city. According to the South China Morning Post, the extradition of refugees from the United States helped the HKSAR government arrest a man involved in deception cases involving US$1.96 million. In 2002, the arrest of Hong Kong officers and the surrender of a wanted suspect in the United States were also welcomed by their colleagues in San Francisco, the newspaper reported.

A contract means that the signatory parties are required to consider an extradition request, and due process usually only applies to the judicial branches of both jurisdictions, Huang Jin, president of the Chinese Society for International Law, told the CGTN. The Hong Kong government on Thursday criticized Washington`s decision to suspend extradition and tax-exempt agreements with China`s semi-autonomous territory. The suspension of the treaty with the Special Administrative Region will also close the door to such cooperation with Beijing. There was a precedent in which China used the treaty to support global hunting to other countries. In 2002, Beijing handed over to the United States two suspects in a notorious boston massacre through HKSAR, an extradition obtained on the basis of HKSAR-U.S.