Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong, offers extended visas and citizenship

In view of the recent National Security Law passed by China in Hong Kong, Australia has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. “China’s new security legislation for Hong Kong constitutes a fundamental change in our circumstances with respect to our extradition agreement with Hong Kong”, said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The prime minister has also ordered for updating the travel advisory for Hong Kong. He warned the citizens to be cautious and prevent any possibility which could lead to their detention under the “vague” Chinese law.

Apart from that, Morrison also announced the extension of visas for Hong Kong nationals, especially students currently studying and living in Australia. The extension could be granted for five years after which people can apply for a permanent residency to stay in the country. 

Along with these measures, the Australian government is also urging international financial services, consulting and media businesses to relocate their offices to Australia. These companies have been offered incentives and visa packages to relocate their staff. 

The Chinese embassy in Australia made a statement asking Australia to stop “meddling”. “It will lead to nothing but lifting a rock only to hit its own feet”, it added.

With this announcement, Australia becomes the third country after Canada and the UK to help the Hong Kong nationals. Canada is also on the verge of suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and promised to boost immigration from the country. The United Kingdom has offered citizenship to the Hong Kong nations in the view of this situation.

Towards the end of June, The People’s Republic of China passed the National Security Law in Hong Kong. This law focused on extending the clutches of the Chinese draconian legal system to get a hold on Hong Kong. From establishment of a Chinese security office in Hong Kong to labeling vandalism as terrorism, the law promises a severe impact on the freedom of all sorts for the citizens of Hong Kong.

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