Australia yesterday advised its citizens in Hong Kong they could be treated as Chinese nationals after the handover unless they declared themselves foreign nationals. The Foreign Affairs and Trade Department has issued a travel advisory notice, normally used to warn travellers of risky areas and international flashpoints. Chinese-Australians originally from Hong Kong 'should be aware' they must make a declaration at the Hong Kong Immigration Department if they wanted their foreign status to be recognised. They would otherwise be considered Chinese nationals, the notice said. 'Making such a declaration will be particularly important if Australian citizens in Hong Kong wish to have access to assistance from Australian consular officials in matters involving the Hong Kong authorities,' it said.