Canada on Friday suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong to protest the sweeping new national security law China has enacted in the financial hub.
Canada is also halting exports of sensitive military gear to Hong Kong and updating its travel advisory so Canadians traveling there will know how the law might affect them, the foreign ministry said.
“Canada is a firm believer in the one-country, two-system framework,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, referring to the semi-autonomous model adopted after Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.
The Chinese legislation enacted this week outlaws acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.
Beijing has faced a groundswell of criticism, primarily from Western nations, over the law, which radically increases China’s control over Hong Kong.
China’s authoritarian leaders say the suite of powers will restore stability after a year of protests and will not stifle freedoms.
But police have already begun arresting people for possessing protest flags and banners, while the government in Hong Kong has made clear certain political views, especially calls for independence, are now outlawed.
The law was enacted in a secretive process, without the participation of Hong Kong’s legislature, judiciary or people, and in violation of international obligations, said Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.
“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,” the minister said.
“Hong Kong’s role as a global hub was built on that foundation. Without it, Canada is forced to reassess existing arrangements.”