新闻来源：ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)《澳大利亚广播公司》；作者：Jordan Hayne, Stephen Dziedzic and Bang Xiao
Hong Kong residents could be offered safe haven in Australia amid security law crackdown, PM Scott Morrison says
澳总理斯科特 · 莫里森表示，澳大利亚将为香港居民提供安全避风港
National security laws have sparked the latest crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong.(Reuters: Tyrone Siu) 国家安全法引发了对香港抗议者的最新镇压。（路透社：Tyrone Siu）
Australia is "actively considering" offering safe haven to Hong Kong residents to come to the country after controversial national security laws imposed by China came into effect, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.
- Proposals for accepting Hong Kong residents into Australia will soon go before Cabinet
- The UK says it will ensure a path to citizenship for eligible Hongkongers
- New laws aimed as silencing dissent have triggered the latest wave of protests in Hong Kong
On Wednesday, hundreds of people were arrested after demonstrators took to the streets to protest the new laws, which were introduced by China to suppress dissenters.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would offer eligible people in Hong Kong a path to citizenship, allowing them to settle in the United Kingdom.
Asked whether he was disturbed by the crackdowns on protesters in Hong Kong and whether Australia would offer safe haven for residents of the region, Mr Morrison said: "the answer to both questions is yes and yes".
"We are considering [it] very actively and there are proposals that I asked to be brought forward several weeks ago," he said.
"The final touches will be put on those and they'll soon be considered by Cabinet to provide similar opportunities [to what the UK has offered].
"We think that's important and very consistent with who we are as a people and very consistent practically with the views that we have expressed."
He would not elaborate on whether that would include permanent settlement for Hong Kong residents.
"When we have made a final decision on those arrangements I'll make an announcement, but if you're asking are we prepared to step up and provide support, the answer is yes," he said.
What is the UK offering to Hong Kong residents?
The UK handed control of Hong Kong to China in 1997, and the latest round of protests surrounded the anniversary of that event.
Before the handover took place, citizens in Hong Kong were able to apply for British National Overseas (BNO) passports.
Hong Kong is home to hundreds of thousands of BNO passport holders, with millions of other residents believed to be eligible.
Mr Johnson said on Wednesday that the UK would ensure a path to citizenship was open for those passport holders.
Last month, the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab pushed his counterparts in the Five Eyes intelligence network — which consists of the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada — to help resettle Hong Kong residents if there was a "mass exodus" from the city.
上个月，英国外交大臣多米尼克·拉布（Dominic Raab）敦促了由英国、美国、澳大利亚、新西兰和加拿大组成的“五眼联盟”情报共享国家，一旦发生‘大规模逃离 ‘ ，可以共同应对帮助重置香港居民。
The laws embolden Hong Kong police to crack down on dissent.(AP: Vincent Yu) 该法鼓励香港警察严厉镇压异议。（美联社：俞文森）
The Morrison Government has stressed that Hong Kong residents fearing political persecution can already apply for protection under Australia's existing humanitarian program.
But it has also been exploring alternative pathways to residency for people in Hong Kong.
This might include a special humanitarian intake like the one provided to 12,000 Syrian refugees in 2015.
Several government backbenchers have been fiercely critical of Beijing's crackdown on Hong Kong and have been strong advocates for a resettlement program.
But creating a special protection program for Hong Kong residents would further inflame tensions between Australia and China.
Beijing responded angrily when the United Kingdom first raised the prospect of taking refugees from Hong Kong, accusing Britain of harbouring a "colonial mindset" and demanding they stop "interfering in China's internal affairs".
One Australian Government source has previously told the ABC that several Five Eyes nations may move in concert to provide humanitarian visas to Hong Kong residents in order to blunt any response from Beijing.
China responds to Australian concern over laws
China has accused Australia of "meddling" in its affairs by issuing a joint statement with 26 other countries over human rights crackdowns in Hong Kong and the western province of Xinjiang.
In a statement, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said "the eyes of the world will remain on Hong Kong".
"Australia is troubled by the law's implications for Hong Kong's judicial independence, and on the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong, both of which underpin the city's success," she said.
In response, a Chinese Embassy spokesperson said the laws would benefit Hong Kong.
"Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs," the spokesperson said.
"We hope the Australian side take an objective and rational view on the legislation, abide by international law and basic norms of international relations, and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs."
The imposition of the National Security Law triggered rallies in Australia.
One person was arrested after disrupting a demonstration in Brisbane, which saw more than 200 participants of Hong Kong, Tibetan, Uyghur, and Vietnamese background gather to protest against Beijing's imposition of the National Security Law in Hong Kong.
Video footage showed a man grab the microphone from a female speaker and disrupt the peaceful event by asking for "freedom of speech", before other protesters moved in to stop him.
A spokesperson from the Queensland Police Service (QPS) confirmed the incident to the ABC, and said the 26-year-old man from East Brisbane was due to appear at the Brisbane Magistrate Court on September 3, after being charged with committing a public nuisance and obstructing a police officer.
"[The law] is definitely intimidating, but the Hong Kong people are still fighting on," said Jake, an international student from Hong Kong, who requested his surname not be used because he feared being charged for his involvement.
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