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HKSAR strongly condemns US decision on three bilateral agreements

HKSAR strongly condemns US decision on three bilateral agreements

The United States government has officially suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong over concerns that the Chinese government's new national security law is eroding the city's autonomy.

China has ended a judicial assistance treaty between Hong Kong and the United States, following Washington's decision to terminate three bilateral agreements with the semi-autonomous city.

They cover "the surrender of fugitive offenders, the transfer of sentenced persons and reciprocal exemptions on income derived from the worldwide operation of ships", State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus in a statement.

It also required goods imported from Hong Kong to be marked as "made in China" rather than "made in Hong Kong" as previously.

Tensions and rhetoric have escalated recently as the global pandemic worsened in the U.S., China ramped up pressure on Hong Kong and as the U.S. election draws closer.

The administration has already acted to end special trade and commercial privileges that Hong Kong had and has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials involved in enforcing the new security laws.

Other nations, such as the UK, Germany and Australia have also suspended extradition treaties in recent weeks.

The latest US steps also come as Trump assigns full blame to Beijing for the coronavirus outbreak in the USA, deflecting criticism of his own handling of the pandemic that threatens his reelection.

Hong Kong's government also issued what it described as a "severe reprimand" against the USA announcement, which accused the United States of having "politicized juridicial cooperation".

On July 14, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to end Hong Kong's special trading status with the US in response to Beijing's national security law.

The law - which outlaws criticism of China's government - is the most sweeping change to the political landscape of Hong Kong since then.

"We urge the U.S. side to correct its erroneous decision and stop interfering in China's internal affairs", ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, as cited by state media. "China urges the USA to immediately correct its wrong decision".

The latest moves come after the administration earlier this month announced it was sanctioning Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam as part of a wave of measures against Hong Kong officials.