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Australia-Hong Kong relationship
Australia has extensive and enduring interests in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Australian Government supports Hong Kong's "high degree of autonomy" under Chinese sovereignty as provided for by the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, and in accordance with China's policy of observing "one country, two systems".
Australia's policy toward Hong Kong is underpinned by its substantial commercial interests, and by the presence of a large Australian community living in Hong Kong. Australia's commercial interests in Hong Kong are extensive and range from banking, accounting, legal, engineering, information technology services and retail and general trading. Some 80,000 Australians are resident in Hong Kong, while around 550 Australian companies are based here, and a further 1,000 Australian companies have representative offices.
According to the 2009 Census in Australia, around 88,500 people of Hong Kong origin now live in Australia. Australia is one of the major English-speaking study destinations for students from Hong Kong.
Australia and Hong Kong enjoy a strong relationship built on mutual cooperation and people to people links. Recent high level visits from Australia include: Governor-General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, in May 2011; Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Mr Swan, in July 2012; Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, Mrs Elliot, in November 2011; Minister Assisting the Minister for Tourism, Senator Sherry, in April 2011; Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Mr Shorten, in January 2011; Minister for Trade, Dr Emerson, in November 2010.
In 2011 four of the six State Premiers visited Hong Kong: Victoria (September), New South Wales (July), Queensland (July) and South Australian (April).
Recent high-level visit to Australia from Hong Kong includes Chief Executive Donald Tsang (retired on 30 June 2012) in June 2011. His program covered Melbourne, Perth, Canberra and Sydney. Tsang's program in State capitals included meetings with the Premier of Victoria and the Premier of Western Australia. In Canberra he held discussions with the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Other recent high-level visits include Chief Secretary for Administration, Secretaries for Transport and Housing, Food and Health, Financial Services and the Treasury.
The Australian Consulate-General represents the Australian Government in Hong Kong. In Australia, the Hong Kong SAR is represented through the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office based in Sydney.