International

Australia Deeply Concerned at Hong Kong Laws: Marise Payne

Australia has joined the UK and Canada in expressing “deep concern” over Chinas proposed Hong Kong security laws, which they say will undermine the citys autonomy.

The Chinese Communist Party unveiled the details of the legislation on May 22, which critics say will affect rights, freedoms and judicial independence for the 7.5 million people who live there.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne joined her counterpart in the UK Dominic Raab, and in Canada Francois-Philippe Champagne, in saying the laws would be contrary to the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984.

Under that pact China agreed to allow Hong Kong to continue as a capitalist economy after the 1997 handover, with its people extended the same democratic rights and freedoms enjoyed under the British for 50 years

“We are deeply concerned at proposals for introducing legislation related to national security in Hong Kong,” the foreign ministers statement said.

“The legally binding Joint Declaration, signed by China and the United Kingdom, sets out that Hong Kong will have a high degree of autonomy.”

The ministers said the joint declaration provides that rights and freedoms, including freedoms of the press and of people to assemble and associate, be ensured in Hong Kong law.

The provisions of the UN covenants on human rights also remain in force under the joint declaration.

“Making such a law on Hong Kongs behalf, without the direct participation of its people, legislature or judiciary, would clearly undermine the principle of One Country, Two Systems, under which Hong KongRead More – Source

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