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Australia suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty


China’s new nationwide safety regulation “undermines” Hong Kong’s present freedoms says CanberraAustralia has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in response to fears over a brand new nationwide safety regulation imposed by China.Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned the brand new regulation undermined “Hong Kong’s personal fundamental regulation” and the territory’s present stage of autonomy from Beijing.Australia deliberate to increase visas for Hong Kong residents and encourage companies there to relocate, he mentioned.China has criticised the transfer as “gross interference” in its home affairs.”We urge the Australian facet to right away cease meddling… in any other case it’s going to result in nothing however lifting a rock solely to hit its personal toes,” mentioned an announcement by its embassy in Australia.For the reason that regulation was enacted final week, Canada has additionally suspended its extradition treaty, whereas the UK has provided citizenship choices to Hong Kong residents.Critics say the regulation makes it simpler to punish protesters and critics of the Chinese language authorities.Hong Kong’s authorities says the regulation is required to carry order to a metropolis that noticed mass pro-democracy protests final 12 months that usually turned violent.Because the extent of the regulation’s attain continues to be unsure, critics have mentioned it might additionally result in overseas nationals being arbitrarily detained in Hong Kong.That has led Australia and different nations to problem new warnings to their residents in Hong Kong. Greater than 100,000 Australians are within the metropolis.”You could be at elevated danger of detention on vaguely outlined nationwide safety grounds. You may break the regulation with out meaning to. Should you’re involved concerning the new regulation, rethink your want to stay in Hong Kong,” mentioned the Division of International Affairs and Commerce.Mr Morrison mentioned his authorities, together with others “have been very constant in expressing our issues concerning the imposition of the nationwide safety regulation on Hong Kong”.Beforehand, Australia and Hong Kong might each search the extradition of any particular person inside their jurisdiction who was wished for prosecution or a prison sentence. This course of has occurred simply twice prior to now 10 years.Story continuesAustralia has additionally provided to increase visas to Hong Kong residents by 5 years – offering a pathway to everlasting residency for as much as 10,000 folks.Mr Morrison mentioned the visa supply was additionally geared toward attractive Hong Kong companies to relocate to Australia in the event that they “change into footloose on account of the modifications”.Hong Kong is a former British colony and was handed again to China in 1997.Beneath the association, Hong Kong was allowed to have sure freedoms for 50 years, setting it aside from the Chinese language mainland.Nonetheless the UK, and different Western nations say China’s new regulation instantly threatens these freedoms and rights.Final week, the UK provided resettlement to up three million Hong Kong residents – an motion criticised by China.Australia’s announcement might once more irritate tensions with China, its largest buying and selling companion.Bilateral relations have soured additional this 12 months after Australia known as for a worldwide investigation into the origins of Covid-19. This has been considered because the catalyst for China levelling sanctions on Australian exports.

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