China said on Monday it will suspend Hong Kong's extradition agreement with New Zealand in response to Wellington suspending its existing extradition treaty with the semi-autonomous financial hub, according to a Reuters report.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin announced the decision at a daily briefing.
It follows a decision last week from the New Zealand Government to suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in light of China's decision to pass a contentious new national security law in Hong Kong.
Chinese media outlet Global Times reported on Monday that New Zealand "politicised judicial cooperation and interfered in China's internal affairs" when it suspended its extradition with Hong Kong, which was a factor in China choosing to suspend its deal with Aotearoa.
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said last week China's passing of the legislation has "eroded rule-of-law principles" and "undermined the 'one country, two systems' framework" that underpins Hong Kong's unique status.
"New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong's criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China. If China in future shows adherence to the 'one country, two systems' framework then we could reconsider this decision," he said during the announcement.
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Both the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand and China's Foreign Ministry quickly responded, accusing New Zealand of "gross interference in China's internal affairs".
Peters told Newshub Nation on Saturday that New Zealand wanted China to uphold its 'one country, two systems' principle it set out when Hong Kong was transferred to China in 1997.
"You can look at the language where it is said that they have hit back, but the reality is I was there as New Zealand's representative in 1997 in the handover of Hong Kong and the 'one country, two systems' guarantee that the Chinese government gave at that occasion," he said.
"Everybody understands it, and, so to say it's an interference from New Zealand or other countries is really a massive misuse of language. It's nothing of the sort. What we're saying is, 'We trusted you in your commitment of 1997. Please honour it, and if you do, we will review our position'."