“We have officially notified Hong Kong and advised the Chinese authorities,” he said.
The prime minister said Australia had also updated its travel advice for Hong Kong and warned Australians of the possibility of being detained in the city under the “vague” law.
Morrison also announced a way to get a permanent residence permit for Hong Kong citizens who want to leave the city due to the introduction of the law.
Current Hong Kong students or qualified visa holders in Australia are granted an additional five years on their visa, with a permanent residence path, he said, adding that prospective students or qualified visa applicants will also be granted these five additional years if they should Applications are successful.
“There will be Hong Kong citizens who may be trying to move elsewhere, start a new life in a different place, take on their skills and business, and the things they did in Hong Kong under the previous rules and agreements “Said Morrison.
He also encouraged Hong Kong-based companies to move to Australia.
There are currently around 1
0,000 Hong Kong residents in Australia, Morrison said, adding that he does not expect a large number of applications for new visas in the short term.
The UK had previously announced that it would give citizenship to up to three million Hong Kong people born before the city was handed over to Chinese rule in 1997, and is therefore eligible to receive passports for the UK’s overseas nation. Taiwan has also announced it will welcome Hong Kong residents who wish to leave the city, although the island is unlikely to accommodate large numbers of people and has not signed the United Nations Convention on Refugees.
China has responded angrily to measures taken by the international community to support Hong Kong citizens and to widespread criticism of the security law, which it considers necessary to stop “terrorism” and “foreign interference” in the city. In an editorial published this week by the nationalist, government-backed tabloid Global Times, the newspaper warned the Australian economy “to swallow a bitter pill” if it continues the Hong Kong plan.
Last week Canada was the first country to suspend its extradition contract with Hong Kong. Around 20 countries have signed agreements with the city, including many that do not allow extradition to China for human rights reasons.
New Zealand said Thursday it was reviewing its relationship with Hong Kong after the security law was introduced.
“China’s decision to adopt a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” said Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters in a statement.
“This will be a deliberate, deliberate review of all of our settings, including delivery agreements, controls on the export of strategic goods, and travel advice.”