Faced with a rapid deterioration in its relationship with China, Australia has defined a strategy which can be summed up in three words: give in nothing. Thursday, July 9, ignoring the warnings of Beijing who had told him to "Do not venture further down the wrong path" By getting involved in the Hong Kong issue, Conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken steps to respond to the "Fundamental change in the situation" in the former British colony of Hong Kong. At the end of June, the communist regime forced its special administrative region to adopt a new security law.
Because this legislation, " in our view, undermines Hong Kong's own basic law and the high degree of autonomy guaranteed in the joint Sino-British declaration "- who had established the principle "one country, two systems" until 2047 -, the head of the Australian government announced that his country suspended its extradition treaty with Hongkong and offered a refuge to thousands of Hong Kongers by extending it by five years the duration of visas granted to students and skilled workers.
Ten thousand people, already living in Australia, will immediately benefit from this decision which will allow them, in the long term, to apply for nationality. Canberra followed suit in the United Kingdom, which offered a residence permit to 3 million people in early July. At the same time, Australia will facilitate the installation of companies, currently domiciled in the territory of Hong Kong, on the mainland. On the other hand, it did not propose, as claimed by human rights organizations, a humanitarian protection program which would have aimed at a broader target.
In the hours following the announcements, the spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Canberra castigated Australian officials. "They clearly interfered in the internal affairs of China by making irresponsible remarks", he said, before adding that Australia must stop " at once ", otherwise "She would shoot herself in the foot".
China seen as ever more threatening
Anticipating possible reprisals, the government of Scott Morrison had, for several days, warned its nationals living in China and Hong Kong, against "An increased risk of detention for vaguely defined national security reasons". " Obviously, these decisions will not help to ease tensions, but the relationship was already so degraded that it should not change much ”, loose Rory Medcalf, Director of National Security College.
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