No extradition deal
Hong Kong and the mainland have worked on an extradition agreement for years, but have not come to terms yet.
When asked about the rendition issue last week, the city's Security Bureau replied: 'Hong Kong and the mainland have commenced discussions with a view to putting in place a formal rendition arrangement.'
It added: 'The surrender of fugitive offenders between the mainland and Hong Kong requires a formal rendition arrangement. Hong Kong and the mainland are in discussion on the arrangement which will cover the scope and procedures, etc.'
In a follow-up e-mail, the bureau was asked about when the discussions commenced. Its reply: 1999.
It would not say why the sides have not signed a treaty, but the main sticking point could still be the mainland's use of the death penalty.
It was reported in 2006 that the mainland had agreed not to execute certain prisoners returned to its jurisdiction.
One informal arrangement covers a specific set of circumstances. That is when Hong Kong residents on the mainland, who are wanted for a Hong Kong crime, will be handed back.
Otherwise, there is no other known instance where a person wanted for a crime will be handed back by either government.