Australia has offered Thursday his protection to hong Kong people living in the country, in response to the new law on national security imposed by China on the territory.
The first minister Scott Morrison, who has also announced the suspension of its extradition agreement with Hong Kong, intends to offer in thousands of hong Kong people living in the country as a permanent resident, which should not fail to arouse the anger of Beijing.
Mr. Morrison explained that they made these decisions because the national security act ” constitutes a fundamental change of the situation “.
He said he had informed the chinese authorities and hong kong of these projects.
These announcements occur on the day after the opening in Hong Kong of the Office of defence and national security, in which agents of the intelligence chinese will be in charge of enforcing the law imposed by Beijing.
This text aims to crack down on subversion, secession, terrorism and the collusion with foreign forces.
It is the most radical for Hong Kong since its handover by the Uk to China in 1997. The activists pro-democracy fear an erosion of unprecedented freedoms and autonomy in the territory.
Mr. Morrison said that the visas of about 10 000 hong Kong people living in the country would be extended to five years.
“If you are the holder of a temporary visa, your visa will be extended to five years from now (…) with a possibility of permanent residence at the end of that period,” he said.
Risk of detention
“And we will also offer a visa of five years and may lead to permanent residence for the future hong Kong qualified applicants of temporary visas, subject to, in particular, that they meet a list of skills,” he added.
A few minutes before these announcements, the australian department of foreign Affairs has warned its nationals living in Hong Kong against a risk of detention since the entry into force of the law on national security.
In an update of its advice to travellers, it has urged its nationals to “reconsider their need to stay in Hong Kong” if they are concerned about this new law that ” may be interpreted in a broad way “.
While stressing that the way in which this text will be applied and what it covers “is not yet clear, it has been estimated that Australians” could be facing an increased risk of detention for reasons of national security, loosely defined “.
“You could break the law without meaning “, he warned.