Police shoot pepper spray at protesters inside a train in Hong Kong, 2019 (Image: AP/Ring Yu)

Hong Kong has become officially as unsafe for Australians as mainland China after the country’s rubber stamp parliament signed off on sweeping security laws designed to catch anyone Beijing does not like. The laws came into effect at 3pm, June 30.

The new laws specifically state that foreigners either in Hong Kong or outside Hong Kong can break the laws -- including via online comments. 

Rushed through in five weeks and cloaked in secrecy unusual even for China’s opaque ruling party, the laws were not given the traditional moment of “public consultation”, so by the time they were swiftly voted in at 9am on June 30 no one outside the National People’s Congress standing committee’s 162 people had seen the legislation.