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.
For more on how China has been “trying to fill a Trump vacuum in Australia,” see this Reuters report.
- China steps up university influence effort / The Australian
- China, North Korea open new flight route amid criticism of Beijing sanctions against Pyongyang / SCMP
- On state TV, Chinese forces storm compound a lot like Bin Laden’s / NYT (paywall)
- China building navy’s biggest amphibious assault vessel, sources say / SCMP
- Chongqing VPN users may now face fines of up to 15,000 yuan for jumping over Great Firewall / Shanghaiist