France says it will not ratify extradition treaty with Hong Kong

PARIS (Reuters) - France said on Monday it would not ratify a 2017 extradition treaty with Hong Kong after China introduced a controversial national security law for the global financial hub.

“In view of the latest developments, France will not proceed as it stands with the ratification of the extradition agreement signed on May 4, 2017 between France and the Hong Kong Special Administrative region,” a French Foreign Ministry statement said.

It said the national security law for Hong Kong was “a change that compromises the inherited framework of the 1997 handover” to China from British rule, and also challenged the “one country, two systems” principle, respect for Hong Kong’s “high degree of autonomy” and “related fundamental freedoms”.

China rejected France’s interpretation.

“Not only does the national security law for Hong Kong follow the principle of ‘one country, two systems’, it furthers ensure this principle can be sustained in a stable manner,” Wang Wenbin, a foreign ministry spokesman, told a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

New Zealand, Canada, Britain, Australia and Germany have already suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong since the security law was introduced in June.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Mark Heinrich & Simon Cameron-Moore