Protesters march in Vancouver against Hong Kong's new security law

Yolanda Curtis
July 3, 2020

The new laws in Hong Kong criminalise secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces.

Australia is also "actively considering" offering safe haven to Hong Kong residents - with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying there were proposals that will "soon be considered by cabinet".

Law is a former Hong Kong legislator who served jail time for his participation in the 2014 anti-Beijing "Umbrella protests".

The new legislation targets Chinese officials as well as the Hong Kong police, making United States sanctions against them mandatory if they are identified in two consecutive government reports as working to restrict Hong Kong's freedoms.

"All Hong Kong compatriots, including those holding British National Overseas passports, are Chinese citizens", Mr Zhao said. Taipei also updated its travel advice warning people against unnecessary travel through Hong Kong.

His comments came a day after thousands of protesters marched against the security law, which took effect in Hong Kong late Tuesday.

Australia could fast track skilled migrant visas for Hong Kong nationals or offer safe haven through the refugee program.

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday joined the Senate in approving a bill to rebuke China over its crackdown in Hong Kong by imposing sanctions on groups that undermine the city's autonomy or restrict freedoms promised to its residents.

Anyone taking part in secessionist activities, such as shouting slogans or holding up banners and flags for the city's independence, is in violation of the law regardless of whether violence is used.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking in Parliament had said that "imposition of this national security law constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British joint declaration".

Under the United Kingdom plan, the status of British National (Overseas) passport holders will be upgraded to offer them a path to United Kingdom citizenship.

He called on the HKSAR government to explain the spirit and enforcement of the law both to residents in the city and the worldwide community, particularly foreign investors in Hong Kong.

That has infuriated Beijing, which says Britain promised not to grant full citizenship rights to Hong Kongers ahead of the handover. He didn't provide details on how that would be arranged.

"If a Chinese bank decides that they value doing business with the oppressors more than they value access to engage in US dollar transactions or US Treasury transactions, then they can make that decision", he said.

Mr Morrison said "we think that's important and very consistent with who we are as a people and very consistent practically with the views that we've expressed".

The national security law is touted by Beijing as a tool to restore order to Hong Kong after mass protests a year ago that were mostly peaceful, but sometimes erupted into violence or brought the city to a standstill.

The Chinese embassy in Australia condemned her remarks and accused the minister of meddling in Hong Kong's affairs.

"Stop interfering in China's internal affairs with Hong Kong as a pretext, and refrain from going further down the wrong path", Zhao told reporters in Beijing.

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