China condemns Australia for granting 'protection visas' to Hong Hong residents
Published: Mar 02, 2021 12:12 AM
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry Photo: cnsphoto

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry Photo: cnsphoto

China's Foreign Ministry on Monday urged Australia to abandon its interference in China's Hong Kong Special Administration Region (HKSAR) affairs, after the Australian government granted protection visas to Hong Kong passport holders in December, which came following years of rejected applications.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Monday said China's position on Hong Kong-related issues is consistent and clear. "Hong Kong affairs fall entirely within China's internal affairs. No foreign country has the right to interfere," Wang said.

"China urges Australia to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs in any way, to avoid further damage to China-Australia relations," Wang said.

A report from Australia's Department of Home Affairs on the processing of Subclass 866 onshore protection visas indicated that fewer than five Hong Kong passport holders had their applications approved in December. The allocation marked the first time that such visas were granted to passport holders from the region since at least 2010, Australian media outlet SBS reported on Monday.

China has deplored and opposed the groundless accusations many times made by the Australian government on Hong Kong issues, calling them a violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations and gross interference in China's internal affairs.

Colluding with other members of the Five Eyes alliance, Australia has shown hostile policies toward China regarding Hong Kong and Xinjiang regions. 

Following Canada, Australia in 2020 suspended its extradition agreement with Hong Kong and will offer visa extensions and a pathway to permanent residence to Hong Hong residents in Australia.

Global Times

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