Beijing hopeful on extradition treaty

China is still hopeful Australia may have a change of heart on an extradition treaty. (AAP)

Beijing is still keen to pursue an extradition treaty with Australia, despite the agreement hitting roadblocks in federal parliament.

China is still hopeful Australia may have a change of heart on an extradition treaty.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday withdrew the treaty from debate in parliament because of its likely defeat and the potential fallout for Australia-China relations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the treaty would allow both countries to go after cross-border criminals and was in their joint interests.

"We hope that Australia keeps in mind the broader picture of bilateral relations and continues to promote the relevant domestic process so the treaty can go into enforcement as soon as possible," she told reporters in Beijing.

China had been anxious for progress on the treaty, in order to bolster its efforts to crack down on corrupt officials who have fled the country.

Former Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, now sitting under the Australian Conservatives banner, had intended to move to overturn the treaty, citing concerns about China's legal system.

He said the government had failed to make the case for ratifying the treaty.

"If our government can be bullied into supporting or ratifying a treaty of this ilk the only conclusion I can draw that is that they would be bullied into handing over people into circumstances that I don't think any just society would want," he told Sky News on Tuesday night.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has contacted the Chinese embassy in Canberra and hopes to continue talks with the opposition.

"It is very much in Australia's national interests for us to have the highest level of co-operation with China and other countries with whom we have an extradition treaty," she said.

During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Australia last week, the two countries announced plans to establish a high-level security dialogue which will cover cybersecurity, trans-national crime and legal and judicial co-operation.

Source AAP

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