Extradition Treaty with China

Australia signed an extradition treaty with China in September 2007. For the past decade, the treaty has had no effect, as it has not been ratified by Australia.

Successive governments, both Coalition and Labor, have declined to ratify the treaty, largely because of concerns about the Chinese legal system.

The conviction rate in China is over 99 per cent. Between 5,000 and 10,000 people are executed each year. The actual number is difficult to identify because of secrecy in the country.

The organs of executed prisoners are harvested for sale, something that many nations have criticised for years. There are also claims that organs have been harvested from political prisoners.

These are some of the reasons why many members of Parliament have serious reservations about ratifying the treaty.

Australia has an important trading relationship with China which has continued to prosper in the absence of a working extradition treaty.

But we also subscribe to the rule of law and universal human rights as the foundation of our civilisation.

It is why millions of people, including many from China and elsewhere in Asia, have chosen to call Australia home.