Australia cannot guarantee residency for Hong Kongers, says minister Jul 13, 2020 0 35 12345 DPASydneyThere is no guarantee that Hong Kongers will be granted permanent residency visas in Australia, acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said Sunday.Tudge’s comments come days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was suspending its extradition agreement with Hong Kong amid concerns about the new national security law imposed on the territory by Beijing.Tudge told national broadcaster ABC that Australia could not guarantee residency for those who feared returning to Hong Kong.“What we are saying is that people will have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency, but I mean, if there’s a serious security issue in relation to that person, they’ll be sent back,” Tudge told ABC’s Insiders programme.“If there’s a character concern, they’ll be sent back.” He said thousands of Hong Kong citizens in Australia on student or work visas had been offered extensions of up to five years.An estimated 10,500 students and 1,500 workers from Hong Kong are in Australia. They can apply for refugee settlement if they can prove they face persecution if they return to Hong Kong. Tudge said 137 had already applied for asylum.Hong Kong’s new national security law, which targets secession, sedition and terrorism in the financial hub, has drawn criticism from many Western nations. Critics say Beijing has broken its promise to allow for certain freedoms in Hong Kong until 2047.Morrison said Thursday that Hong Kongers who fear persecution at home could be offered safe haven visas and “a pathway to permanent residency” in Australia.The Chinese embassy in Canberra accused Australia of “gross interference” in its affairs after Morrison’s announcement.Tudge on Sunday said Australia was also keen to attract business talent from Hong Kong.“What we’ve done is that we’ve offered particular visas for people to come here, and particularly the global talent who is residing there,” he said.“And we’ve also signalled that we want to get some of the businesses who want to move locations to come to Australia as a great destination for them to set up shop.” Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Hongkongers rally to vote in pro-democracy primaries in defiance Jul 13, 2020 0 464 Aishwarya, daughter Aaradhya test positive for coronavirus Jul 13, 2020 0 398 Indonesia military academy hit by virus outbreak Jul 13, 2020 0 28 Quake rattles Chinese city hit by massive 1976 disaster AFP Beijing A 4.7-magnitude earthquake struck the northern Chinese city of Tangshan on Sunday, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), reviving memories of a devastating 1976 quake there that was the .. Thailand plans to test trial COVID-19 vaccine on humans by October Bangkok Thai researchers said on Sunday they would begin testing a new coronavirus vaccine on humans from October following successful trials on animals. A pharmaceutical company will begin producing doses of the .. Sri Lanka cancels election rallies over new virus wave AFP Colombo Sri Lanka’s ruling party Sunday called off its rallies ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections and delayed the international airport’s reopening over a surge in virus cases. The South Asian country of 21 .. Amitabh Bachchan stable, his home Jalsa containment zone New Delhi Bollywood superstar actor Amitabh Bachchan is stable with mild symptoms of the novel coronavirus, the hospital where he is admitted in Mumbai said on Sunday. The 77-year-old and his son Abhishek Bachchan were .. Afghan govt calls for Taliban to return to peace process DPA Kabul An Afghan government spokesperson on Sunday called for the Taliban to reject violence and return to the stalled intra-Afghan peace process in the wake of weeks of bloodshed across the country. “The time has come .. Indonesian police foil attempt to smuggle 36 endangered turtles Jakarta: Indonesian authorities have detained seven people for allegedly attempting to smuggle 36 endangered green sea turtles, police said Sunday. The police in Bali nabbed the smugglers in the waters off Serangan, a ..