Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong; presents 10,000 visas to college students, expert staff


Melbourne, July 9

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday introduced the suspension of Australia’s extradition treaty with Hong Kong over the controversial Chinese nationwide safety regulation imposed there and provided visas to 10,000 college students and non permanent expert staff from the previous British territory to start out a brand new life on this nation.

The transfer got here after Chinese President Xi Jinping final month signed a controversial laws to impose a nationwide safety regulation in Hong Kong that allowed Beijing to crackdown towards dissent, criminalising sedition and curbing protests with punishments as much as life in jail.

Morrison stated the brand new nationwide safety legal guidelines imposed by China in Hong Kong represented a “fundamental change of circumstances” for a lot of governments world wide. 

“Our decision to suspend the extradition agreement with Hong Kong represents an acknowledgement of the fundamental change of circumstances in relation to Hong Kong because of the new security law, which in our view undermines the ‘one country, two systems’ framework, and Hong Kong’s own basic law and the high degree of autonomy guaranteed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration that was set out there,” Morrison stated in Canberra.

Hong Kong is ruled below the precept of “one country, two systems”, below which China has agreed to provide the area a excessive diploma of autonomy and to protect its financial and social methods for 50 years from the date of the handover.

The former British colony grew to become a particular administrative area of China on July 1, 1997, when Britain’s 99-year lease of the New Territories, north of Hong Kong island, expired. 

The new nationwide safety regulation imposed final week following violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong in 2019 makes secessionist, subversive, or terrorist actions unlawful, in addition to international intervention within the metropolis’s inner affairs. 

Morrison stated immigration has been a pillar of the energy of Australia and it has been a really welcoming nation to such folks from all world wide.

He stated the Australian authorities will even prolong Hong Kong-based companies to relocate to the nation and prioritise extremely expert candidates by present streams from the Chinese territory.

“As a result of the changes that have occurred in Hong Kong, that there will be citizens of Hong Kong who may be looking to move elsewhere, to start a new life somewhere else, to take their skills, their businesses and things that they have been running under the previous set of rules and arrangements in Hong Kong, and seek that opportunity elsewhere,” he stated.

“It has the best controls, it has the best targeting, it has the best focus, and immigration as a result has been a pillar of the strength of our nation, not just our economy but our society as well,” he stated.

Morrison, who final week stated he was disturbed by the crackdowns on protesters in Hong Kong, highlighted Australia’s lengthy historical past of attracting Hong Kong’s finest and brightest who’ve contributed to the financial progress and job creation.

“We are committed to ensuring this is further strengthened. That’s why Australia will introduce new measures for students, temporary graduates and skilled workers from Hong Kong who want to live, work and study in Australia,” he stated.

Morrison stated the brand new visa preparations will present additional alternatives for Hong Kong passport holders to stay in Australia, with pathways to everlasting residency.

There are roughly 10,000 residents of Hong Kong in Australia, in accordance with media stories.

“There are almost 10,000 existing temporary skilled, temporary graduate and student visa holders in Australia who will be eligible for these special arrangements, with a further 2,500 outside Australia and 1,250 applications on hand,” Morrison added.

He additionally stated former college students already on a short lived graduate visa will likely be eligible for an extension of 5 years efficient Thursday. PTI



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