The Australian government is considering providing refuge for Hong Kong residents in response to rising tensions in the city following a new oppressive national security law imposed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
During an interview in Canberra on July 2, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he is “very concerned” about the endangerment of Hongkongers following protests against the oppressive new law.
“We are considering very actively the proposals that I asked to be brought forward several weeks ago and the final touches would be put on those and they’ll soon be considered by Cabinet to provide similar opportunities,” Morrison said.
He did not disclose whether permanent visas will be granted.
“When we have made a final decision on those arrangements then I’ll make the announcements,” Morrison said.
“But if you are asking are we prepared to step up and provide support? The answer is yes.”
The Australian government has recently been a strong advocate for human rights in China, condemning the CCP for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China’s remote Xinjiang region.
Australia joins the United Kingdom and the United States among the Five Eyes partners in taking action against the CCP’s national security law.
“This is not a position Australia has commented on in isolation. We have done so with many other like-minded countries about these events,” Morrison said.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne expressed deep concern about the “troubling” laws and warned the world would continue watching Hong Kong closely.
Payne said in a statement on July 1 that the law threatens Hong Kong’s judicial independence and the rights and freedoms of its people.
Hundreds Arrested in Protests
There have been 10 arrests in Hong Kong under the new law—six men and four women—with a total of around 370 arrests.
A total of seven officers were injured on duty. Among the serious injuries, one was stabbed by a rioter with a dagger and three were hit by a rioter driving a motorcycle.” Hong Kong Police Force stated on Twitter.
#BREAKING: Around 370 arrests, including 10 (6M&4F) for breaching #NationalSecurityLaw, have been made today. A total of 7 officers were injured on duty. Among the serious injuries, one was stabbed by a rioter with a dagger and three were hit by a rioter driving a motorcylce.
— Hong Kong Police Force (@hkpoliceforce) July 1, 2020
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the date of Scott Morrison’s interview. The interview was on July 2. The Epoch Times regrets the error.