SYDNEY: The Australian authorities says it’ll supply round 10,000 Hong Kong passport holders at the moment residing in Australia an opportunity to use for everlasting residence as soon as their present visas expire.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s authorities believes China’s imposition of a brand new robust nationwide safety regulation on the semi-autonomous territory means pro-democracy supporters might face political persecution.
“That implies that many Hong Kong passport holders could also be on the lookout for different locations to go to and therefore why we now have put ahead our further visa choices for them,” Appearing Immigration Minister Alan Tudge instructed Australian Broadcasting Company tv on Sunday.
As a way to get hold of everlasting residency, candidates would nonetheless should go “the character take a look at, the nationwide safety take a look at and the like,” Tudge mentioned.
“So it is not automated. However it’s actually a neater pathway to everlasting residency and naturally as soon as you are a everlasting resident, there’s then a pathway to citizenship there,” he mentioned.
“If people are genuinely persecuted they usually can show that case, then they’ll apply for one in every of our humanitarian visas in any case.”
Morrison introduced final week Australia suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and prolonged visas for Hong Kong residents from two to 5 years.
The transfer comes after China bypassed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council to impose the sweeping safety laws with out public session. Critics view it as an additional deterioration of freedoms promised to the previous British colony, in response to final yr’s huge protests calling for larger democracy and extra police accountability.
The nationwide safety regulation prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist actions or as international intervention in Hong Kong affairs. Beneath the regulation, police now have sweeping powers to conduct searches with out warrants and order web service suppliers and platforms to take away messages deemed to be in violation of the laws.
China’s international ministry mentioned it reserved the precise to “take additional actions” in response to strikes by Canberra.
“The implications can be totally borne by Australia,” spokesman Zhao Lijian instructed reporters at a every day briefing on Thursday. (AP)