Second bump in Australia-China relations in a week


Top politics and current affairs news for March 29, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Xi plants trees, Trump plans smog."

Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop speaks during a visit in Davao city, southern Philippines March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr

After news yesterday that the Australian government had pulled an increasingly controversial bill to establish extradition procedures with China, diplomats of both countries held emergency meetings today to patch things up. The long-anticipated extradition treaty, originally signed 10 years ago, was expected to be ratified this year, but lower-ranking politicians in the government (“backbenchers”) protested loudly that Australia should not be sending people to China, given complaints about its human rights record.

The pulling of the treaty is the second significant bump in otherwise warm Australia-China relations, the first being the still-unresolved status of politics researcher Feng Chongyi 冯崇义, a Chinese citizen and Australian permanent resident who was held back and questioned repeatedly during a visit to China, and remains in detention. His lawyer has appealed to the Australian government for help in securing his release.