China claps ‘rattling’ Scott Morrison for ‘meddling’ with affairs as prime minister offers visa to Hong Kongers
China has condemned the Australian government for “interfering” with their affairs after Scott Morrison offered visas to people in Hong Kong who wanted to flee Beijing’s strict new security laws.
The Prime Minister grants five-year visas with a path to permanent residence for Hong Kong students and skilled migrants after China has imposed draconian new laws on the territory.
It came after Beijing last week imposed Hong Kong new legislation criminalizing subversion, secession and collusion with foreign troops.
Mr Morrison’s move was expected to anger China, where state media threatened retaliation for “provocations” regarding Hong Kong, triggering a damning statement by the Chinese embassy in Australia on Thursday.
“China strongly regrets and opposes the unfounded allegations and measures announced by the Australian Government regarding Hong Kong, which is a serious violation of international law and the fundamental standards governing international relations, and gross interference in the internal affairs of China, “the statement said. .
China has gotten angry after Scott Morrison offered visas to Hong Kong residents looking for draconian new laws. Pictured: A demonstrator is arrested with pepper spray on July 1 during a protest at Causeway Bay in Hong Kong
Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. The Australian side has rammed that they are against “foreign interference.” However, they have blatantly interfered with China’s internal affairs by making irresponsible comments on Hong Kong-related issues. His hypocrisy and double standard are fully exposed.
The Chinese government remains determined in its decision to protect national sovereignty, security and development interests and to combat any foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs.
“We urge the Australian side to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs under any pretext or by any means. Otherwise, it leads to nothing more than lifting a stone to get on your own two feet. ‘
About 10,000 Hong Kongers already in Australia will be able to apply for the extended visa from Thursday, but there will not be a special humanitarian immigration program for residents of Hong Kong.
The prime minister has also suspended Australia’s extradition treaty with the former British colony, meaning people in Hong Kong accused of crime by their own government are not automatically expelled from Australia. Canada and the UK have recently done the same.
The government is also considering measures to convince Hong Kong entrepreneurs and companies to move to Australia, and further details will be announced.
Beijing has passed draconian laws suppressing protesters in Hong Kong. Pictured: Police detain a demonstrator in Causeway Bay on July 1
The statement by the Chinese Embassy of Australia claimed that the new national security laws will strengthen Hong Kong’s legal framework, safeguard social order, improve the business environment, contribute to Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and the steady implementation of the principle of “one country, two systems”.
China’s new national security law prohibits what Beijing considers to be secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities or foreign intervention in Hong Kong.
Critics say it restricts freedom of speech and pro-democracy protesters have since been charged with holding flags, posters and pamphlets.
Mr Morrison said that the laws undermine Hong Kong’s independence and basic law.
“That national security law constitutes a fundamental change in circumstances regarding our extradition agreement with Hong Kong,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Thursday.
Australia has taken steps today to suspend our extradition agreement. We formally informed Hong Kong and advised the Chinese authorities. ‘
A statement from the Chinese embassy “deplores” the Australian government’s response to the new laws. Pictured: A demonstrator is being held in Hong Kong on May 10
There are currently 8,200 students, 900 graduates and 570 temporary skilled visa holders in Australia from Hong Kong.
Another 2,300 students from Hong Kong, 130 graduates and 100 temporary skilled workers outside Australia have Australian visas for reasons such as family visits or vacations.
Among changes described Thursday, students from Hong Kong are eligible for a five-year graduate visa once they complete their course, along with a path to permanent residence.
Former students who are still in Australia will also receive another five years.
Hong Kong temporary visa holders get an extra five years in the country and a path to citizenship.
Prospective applicants for temporary skilled visas can come for five years.
New visas for Hong Kong residents
· Temporary graduates and skilled workers will be offered an additional five years of employment rights in Australia beyond the time they have already been in Australia, with a permanent residency pathway at the end of that period.
· Students are eligible for a five-year graduate visa upon completion of their studies
Prospective Hong Kong applicants for temporary skilled visas will be issued with a five-year visa based on complying with updated skills lists and labor market testing requirements.
The existing scheme will continue to apply to applicants studying and working in regional areas to address skills shortages in those areas, with pathways towards permanent residence after three years.
Also on the train are new incentives and arrangements to attract Hong Kong-based companies to move to Australia.
In particular, the government will target companies that currently operate their regional headquarters from Hong Kong and may want to relocate to a democratic country.
On Thursday, the Australian government warned 100,000 Australians living in Hong Kong that they could be at increased risk of detention.
The smartraveller website states: “The new national security legislation for Hong Kong can be interpreted broadly.
“By law, you may be deported or you may be prosecuted to mainland China for prosecution under mainland law.
“The full scope of the law and how it will be applied is not yet clear. You may be at increased risk of detention for vague national security reasons. You could break the law without planning to.
“If you’re concerned about the new law, reconsider your need to stay in Hong Kong.”
Mr Morrison said that the decision to update travel advice in Hong Kong was taken by officials, not him.
“Travel advice is changed from time to time and officials have upgraded that advice on this occasion,” said the Prime Minister.
China is a direct threat to the Australian economy because of “provocations” over Hong Kong
The Chinese government has warned Australia that if the Morrison government continued to make “provocations” about Hong Kong’s sovereignty, its economy would have an “enormous impact”.
The state runs Global Times focused on Australia in an editorial on Wednesday after the federal government said it is considering creating a “safe haven” for Hong Kong residents seeking to flee former British territory while Beijing takes control.
The publication claims that such a move “would further escalate tensions between China and Australia,” which would harm the economy.
“Anyone with knowledge of trade between China and Australia could see that political provocations on the Hong Kong issue will only become a bitter pill for the country’s economy to swallow,” the editorial said.
The Global Times said the federal government did not understand the impact that providing a ‘safe haven’ to Hong Kong residents would have on relations between China and Australia
The publication claimed that welcoming immigrants from Hong Kong to Australia would negatively impact a “shrinking” economy.
“Immigrants from Hong Kong should only bring uncertainty and pressure to the local economy, which they cannot afford,” the play read.
“With relations between China and Australia already tense, no one should underestimate the impact on the Australian economy of a further deterioration in bilateral ties.”
If relations between China and Australia deteriorate, the damage to businesses and investor confidence would be “unprecedented”, the editorial said.
The ensuing consequences could involve tourism, investment, education and trade in Australia, causing countless local businesses to incur immeasurable losses, “the editorial said.