Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday measures to help Hong Kong citizens start a new life in Australia, including extending visas for five years after Beijing imposed a new security law on the Asian financial center.
Morrison also suspended an extradition agreement with Hong Kong. According to the Security Act, Hong Kong suspects can be tried in mainland Chinese courts controlled by the Communist Party.
Morrison said the new national security law introduced in Hong Kong last week was a fundamental change in circumstances and Australia would suspend the extradition agreement.
"There will be Hong Kong citizens who may try to move elsewhere, start a new life elsewhere, use their skills and business," said Morrison.
He announced visa measures that would help Hong Kong residents who are already in Australia stay. Hong Kong students who graduate from Australia have the option to stay five years and after that time to apply for a permanent residence permit.
Hong Kong citizens who receive a temporary work visa in Australia can also extend it by five years and later apply for permanent residence.
Morrison said there are 10,000 Hong Kong citizens in Australia who have a student visa or a temporary work visa.
Australia also pitched for international financial services, consulting and media companies with a regional headquarters in Hong Kong to move to Australia, saying it would offer incentives and visa packages to relocate employees.
"We want them to look to Australia, come and open a business," said Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge.
Australia has changed its travel advice for Hong Kong, where around 100,000 Australians live and work, to say "rethink your need to stay in Hong Kong" if you're concerned about the new law.
The Hong Kong travel advice warns Australians "for vague reasons of national security to be at increased risk of detention".
Hong Kong's new security law punishes secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces up to life imprisonment.
The new law has put China's freest city on a more authoritarian path and has condemned some western governments, lawyers and legal groups.
Canada announced last week that it would suspend its extradition contract with Hong Kong under security law and promote immigration from the former British colony.
Australian Secretary of State Marise Payne held an overnight conference call with her colleagues in the Five Eyes Security Agreement, which includes the UK, US, New Zealand and Canada via Hong Kong and the new security law. This was announced by Payne and the British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Twitter.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)