Early Wednesday morning in Asia, Australia’s Depart of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)warned that their citizens living in and traveling to China may be arbitrarily detained, per Sydney Morning Herald.
The upgraded travel advice on Tuesday follows a similar warning for Hong Kong last week after Beijing implemented sweeping new national security laws designed to prevent and punish attempts to undermine the Chinese state.
DFAT on Thursday told up to 100,000 Australians living in Hong Kong and those planning on traveling to the Chinese territory that new laws could be interpreted broadly. Residents have been warned by Hong Kong police that pro-independence chants, flags and as of Tuesday – blank pieces of paper raised in defiance – could be in violation of the new legislation.
The former University of Melbourne legal expert is at least the fourth high-profile critic of Xi and the Chinese Communist Party to be detained since the beginning of the pandemic.
The news weighs on the market’s risk-tone sentiment and trims the initial gains of S&P 500 Futures, currently around 3,136. Additionally, AUD/USD also reflects the pessimism while being under pressure around 0.6950 after snapping a six-day winning streak the previous day.