05:48 GMT05 August 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - China reserves the right to respond to Australia’s new policies of extending immigration options for Hong Kong residents and halting its extradition agreement with the region, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday.

    "China does not accept this and expresses strong condemnation while reserving the rights to make further responses. Australia needs to bear all the consequences because of this," Zhao said during a regular press briefing.

    China's reaction followed a statement by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who announced new policies to offer assistance to Hong Kong residents after Beijing introduced the new national security law in the city.

    Australia has decided to extend visas for some categories of Hong Kong passport holders and has announced the suspension of an extradition treaty with the region.

    In response to the new national security law, a number of countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada, took similar actions to offer assistance to Hong Kong residents.

    Beijing and the local government in Hong Kong argued that the new law only serves the purpose of safeguarding China's national security.

    But a large number of countries in the West views the new law as undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy, which Beijing pledged under the joint statement with the United Kingdom in 1984.

    Hong Kong, Australia, Immigration, China
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