China 'Deplores' Australia's Safe Haven Offer to Hong Kongers

"Consequences will be borne by Australia," said China after the country decided to offer safe haven to Hong Kongers.

1 min read
File photo of a protest site in Hong Kong.

China, on Thursday, 9 July, slammed Australia's decision to offer safe haven to Hong Kong citizens and suspend its extradition agreement with the city, AFP reported.

"China strongly deplores and opposes the groundless accusations and measures announced by the Australian government with regard to Hong Kong," a Chinese embassy spokesperson was quoted by AFP as saying.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also warned Australia of consequences.

"China... reserves the right to take further reactions, all consequences will be borne by Australia," he said, further adding, "Any attempts to suppress China will never succeed."

Earlier, Prime Minister Scott Morrison had said:

"Australia is adjusting its laws, our sovereign laws, our sovereign immigration programme, things that we have responsibility for and jurisdiction over, to reflect the changes that we're seeing take place there."

Under the new rules announced by Morrison, 10,000 Hong Kong citizens and residents in Australia on student or temporary work visas will be allowed to remain in the country for an additional five years, AFP reported.

"If you're a temporary visa holder, your visa will be extended to an additional five years from today, in addition to the time you've already been in Australia, with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period," Morrison added.

In addition, he also highlighted that if businesses wish to relocate to Australia, creating jobs, bringing investment and creating opportunities for Australia, the country would be very proactive in seeking to encourage that.

(With inputs from AFP)

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