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Australia condemns Hong Kong security laws

By AAP Newswire

Australia has expressed deep concern about "troubling" security laws China has imposed on Hong Kong.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the laws threatened Hong Kong's judicial independence and the rights and freedoms of its people.

"The eyes of the world will remain on Hong Kong," she said on Wednesday.

Senator Payne said Australia had a substantial stake in Hong Kong's success.

"The city is home to our largest commercial presence in Asia and one of our biggest expatriate communities globally," she said.

"Australia has been a favoured destination for people from Hong Kong, and we will work to ensure it stays that way."

The laws criminalise secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces.

China bypassed Hong Kong's Legislative Council to pass the sweeping new legislation without public consultation.

Australian lawyers fear the broadly defined offences will have a chilling effect on public life in the city and deprive Hong Kong courts of their independence.