Australia will ‘continue to welcome’ Hong Kong residents as calls mount to match UK’s offer of safe haven

Australia will ‘continue to welcome’ Hong Kong residents as calls mount to match UK’s offer of safe haven, by Daniel Hurst.

The Australian government has declared it will “continue to welcome” Hong Kong residents, but it won’t be drawn on calls for it to match the UK’s offer of safe haven for people fearing China’s planned security laws.

Australian parliamentarians from across the political spectrum are urging the government to help the people of Hong Kong, amid growing international concern about the impact of Beijing’s decision on the city’s rights and freedoms and on the stability of the international finance hub.

The British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, revealed he had asked Australia and other partners to consider “burden-sharing if we see a mass exodus from Hong Kong”.

The UK is holding open the prospect of offering residency and work rights to as many as 3 million people, while the US is considering letting people who no longer “feel comfortable” in Hong Kong to move there. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, indicated he was also talking to allies, including Australia, about further responses.

Hong Kong is a leader in freedom and free market miracles. These people might help Australia more than some other recent immigrants.