Banks in Hong Kong nervously eye U.S. sanctions

Lawrence Kim
July 11, 2020

"And so Australia today has taken steps to suspend our extradition agreement".

Morrison announced measures to assist Hong Kong citizens in dealing with the worrisome new legislation which reduces the city's autonomy.

Australia's extradition treaty meant it cooperated with requests from Hong Kong to extradite individuals wanted over criminal offences. Meanwhile, TikTok pulls out of Hong Kong on a matter of principle over freedom of speech concerns, as part of a broader effort by the company to distance itself from its Chinese roots.

"We have formally notified Hong Kong and advised the Chinese authorities".

The travel advice says Australians "may be at increased risk of detention on vaguely defined national security grounds".

Mr Morrison also said Australia will offer visas to people in Hong Kong who feel threatened by the new national security laws.

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said China's moves in Hong Kong were discussed earlier Thursday with Australia's so-called "Five Eyes" security partners - New Zealand, the United States, Britain, and Canada.

Citing local sources including a Hong Kong lawyer and a legislator, the business news publisher says that new laws imposed by the authoritarian government in Beijing have been used to forcibly collect DNA samples and search people's homes.

Another 2300 Hong Kong students, 130 graduates and 100 temporary skilled workers outside Australia - for reasons such as visiting family or holidays - have Australian visas.

Morrison also announced a pathway to permanent residency in Australia for Hong Kong citizens looking to leave the city due to the imposition of the law. You could break the law without intending to.

Yet due to fears they will now not be guaranteed a fair trial under the "One Country, Two Systems" framework, Mr Morrison has suspended the agreement.

Current and future students from Hong Kong will be eligible for a five-year temporary graduate visa once they complete their studies.

"That is a matter of public record from Australia's point of view".

Australia in addition has offered to extend visas to Hong Kong residents by five years - providing a pathway to permanent residency for 10,000 people.

Banks in Hong Kong are urgently auditing their clients to identify who could be impacted by new USA sanctions.

Zhao urged Australia to stop meddling in China's internal affairs and avoid any further damage to bilateral ties.

"This very conversation could put me into legal danger where I could be punishable by life imprisonment", Brian Leung, a prominent pro-democracy campaigner in Hong Kong, told the panel of British MPs.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters said New Zealand was "deeply concerned" about the national security law.

"The obvious goal of this law is to create terror and fear among people not only domestically but also internationally such that people outside of Hong Kong would not speak up".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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