Australian FM statement on Hong Kong

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne

We are deeply concerned by the violence in Hong Kong and the increasing divide between the authorities and Hong Kong people.

We reiterate our view that it is crucial for all sides – police and protestors – to exercise restraint and take genuine steps to de-escalate tensions. It is essential that the police respond proportionately to protests.

Australia continues to urge genuine efforts by all parties to find an effective political solution that supports and upholds Hong Kong’s freedoms and advantages, an open and accountable law enforcement and the professional and unbiased application of justice.

A statement by the international expert panel providing advice to Hong Kong’s Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) has identified limitations in the capability of the IPCC to oversee the police. It suggested there should be further independent investigation into police responses to the protests. Australia encourages the Hong Kong authorities to address the panel’s recommendations.

These steps are essential for any meaningful dialogue and restoring the trust of Hong Kong’s people.

Our Consul-General in Hong Kong continues to raise our concerns with the Hong Kong authorities at the highest levels. Consulate staff are working closely with Australian business and community members in Hong Kong.

Australia has a substantial stake in Hong Kong’s success. The city is home to one of our biggest expatriate communities globally and our largest commercial presence in Asia.

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