Foreign Minister Marise Payne. (PHOTO: Government)

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Wednesday (1 July) that the Australian government “joins many international partners in expressing our deep concern about Beijing’s imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong. This decision to impose the law undermines the ‘One Country Two Systems’ framework and the city’s high degree of autonomy guaranteed in the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law. Australia is troubled by the law’s implications for Hong Kong’s judicial independence, and on the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong, both of which underpin the city’s success.

“That this decision was made without the direct participation of Hong Kong’s people, legislature or judiciary is a further cause for concern. The people of Hong Kong will make their own assessments of how this decision will affect their city’s future. The eyes of the world will remain on Hong Kong,” Payne said.

Hong Kong in calmer times. (PHOTO: Matt Driskill)

“Australia has a substantial stake in Hong Kong’s success. The city is home to our largest commercial presence in Asia and one of our biggest expatriate communities globally. We also continue to recognise the great contribution that people from Hong Kong have made, and continue to make, to Australia. Our people-to-people links are deep – stretching back 200 years – and continue to strengthen. Australia has been a favoured destination for people from Hong Kong, and we will work to ensure it stays that way. We will continue to work with international partners to fully assess the implications of the new laws.”

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