Canberra recommits to China extradition

The federal government has sought to reassure China it remains committed to a controversial extradition treaty during high-level security talks.

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The government was forced to pull debate on the treaty from parliament in March because of its likely defeat amid internal and Labor opposition.

But senior ministers, including Attorney-General George Brandis, recommitted to the treaty during talks with China’s domestic security chief Meng Jianzhu in Sydney on Friday.

“It does remain the policy of the Australian government to move towards the ratification of the extradition treaty with China. We’ve told the Chinese that, they understand it,” Senator Brandis told Sky News on Monday.

“This is terribly important, particularly for dealing with transnational crime and with counter-terrorism.”

Senator Brandis hopes to persuade Labor there are appropriate protections in the extradition treaty, which was first signed by the Howard government in 2007.

“There is absolute ministerial discretion on the part of the Australian minister to ensure that nobody is extradited if there were to be, for example, human rights issues of concern,” he said.

Meanwhile, Australia and China agreed not to launch or support cyber attacks aimed at stealing intellectual property from each other after high-level security talks.

“Australia and China agreed that neither country would conduct or support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets or confidential business information with the intent of obtaining competitive advantage,” Mr Turnbull and Ms Bishop said in a joint statement on Monday.

The deal is similar to an arrangement between China and the United States, and follows the prime minister raising cyber intellectual property theft with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Australia in March.

The countries also vowed to work together in a fight against cyber crimes including child pornography and email scams, terrorism and transnational crimes such as money laundering, fraud and corruption.