France said on Monday it would not ratify a 2017 extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

The move is in response to China imposing a tough new national security law, which aims to tackle subversion, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison.

“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”, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 but the city enjoyed some freedoms not seen in the mainland. The French foreign ministry said the controversial law 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”.

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The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Germany have already suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong since the law was introduced in June. EU foreign ministers also agreed last week to consider interventions on visa and migration rules as well as on extradition treaties with Hong Kong.


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