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Australia joins joint declaration rebuking China over Hong Kong – Sydney Morning Herald

Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom have issued a joint statement underlining the importance of laws guaranteeing civil liberties for Hong Kong’s residents in response to China’s moves to impose its own national security laws on the territory.

The pending laws, which follow long-running pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government in Beijing and “prevent, stop and punish” activities that endanger national security.

Hong Kong police face off against protesters in a shopping centre in April this year.

Hong Kong police face off against protesters in a shopping centre in April this year.Credit:Getty

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne said they were deeply concerned at China’s proposals which they said would “clearly undermine” Hong Kong’s autonomy.

They pointed to the legally binding joint declaration signed between China and the United Kingdom when the former colonial power handed over the territory in 1997, which gives Hong Kong a “high degree of autonomy”.

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