‘British 2nd class citizens’: China responds to new UK visa for Hong Kong

'British 2nd class citizens': China responds to new UK visa for Hong Kong

On Friday (29), the United Kingdom announced a new visa, granting Hong Kong residents the path to British citizenship after China’s repressive measures, but said Beijing would no longer recognize special British passports issued to Hong Kong residents.

The United Kingdom says it has been fulfilling its moral and historical obligations to the people of Hong Kong since China imposed it New Security Act In the British view, in the city in violation of the terms of the 1997 Colonial Power Sharing Agreement.

“I am proud that we have brought a new way for British expatriate citizens of Hong Kong to live, work and build their home in our country,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The above Reuters agency refers to British National Passports (PNOs) abroad.

“In doing so, we respect our deep relations and friendship with the people of Hong Kong, protecting freedom and autonomy, and loving values ​​for both the UK and Hong Kong,” Johnson said.

However, China and the Hong Kong government have announced that they will not recognize a special passport as a valid travel document until January 31.

“The UK is trying to change a lot of Hong Kong people British citizens Second class. It has completely changed the original nature of the PNO, “said Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese president.

Beijing’s decision not to authorize this travel document is highly indicative because Hong Kong residents generally do not use PNO passports for the mainland. Holders of PNO Passports can also use their Hong Kong Passport or Identity Card.

In June 2020, Beijing imposed the National Security Act on the territory of the former colony UK As of January 31, about three million Hong Kong residents were eligible for PNO passports.

The scheme, first announced last year, will allow PNO passport holders to live, study and work in the UK for five years and finally apply for British citizenship.

The British government estimates that the new visa could attract 300,000 people and their dependents to the UK and generate a net profit of $ 2.9 billion ($ 29 billion) for the country’s economy over the next five years.

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