ScoMo has bet the future on Hong Kong

Lachlan Maddock
— 1 minute read

ScoMo has turned to Hong Kong to shape Australia’s economic recovery in a move that China has blasted as “gross interference”.

The government has ended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and will loosen visa restrictions in a bid to attract companies and skilled workers as China moves to impose a draconian national security law across the region. 

“As a result of changes that have occurred in Hong Kong, there will be citizens of Hong Kong who may be looking to move elsewhere, to start a new life somewhere else, to take their skills, their businesses and things that they have been running under the previous set of rules and arrangements in Hong Kong, and seek that opportunity elsewhere,” Mr Morrison told media. 


“(The immigration system) has the best controls, it has the best targeting, it has the best focus, and immigration as a result has been a pillar of the strength of our nation, not just our economy but our society as well.”

Immigration is expected to remain subdued through 2021, leaving a population shortfall of 250,00 less than what was forecast before COVID-19, according to Deloitte Access Economics. An injection of businesses and skilled workers could be a decisive factor in kickstarting Australia’s recovery and shape its economic trajectory for decades to come in much the same way that Australia has previously welcomed refugees in the wake of the Tiananmen Square Massacre and Lebanese Civil War. 

But the move has been met with fury from China, with the Chinese embassy in Canberra denouncing it as “hypocrisy” and a “double standard”. 

“China strongly deplores and opposes the groundless accusations and measures announced by the Australian government with regard to Hong Kong, which is a serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations, and a gross interference in China’s internal affairs,” the Chinese embassy said in a statement. 

Australia has found itself in Beijing’s crosshairs several times in recent months, with China slapping tariffs on key barley exports in response to the Prime Minister’s call for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. And with rumours swirling that China was behind a series of high-profile cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and government offices, this latest move could well provoke an escalation in the already simmering conflict.


ScoMo has bet the future on Hong Kong
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