UPDATED 10:56 AM PT — Friday, May 29, 2020
The U.K. is looking to provide Hong Kong residents with a path to citizenship in response to China’s controversial new national security law. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the proposed policy change Thursday.
It would affect Hong Hong British national passport holders, which is a group of about 300,000 people who lived in the region before it became Chinese territory. Raab said the move would extend visa rights, allowing Hong Kong nationals to stay in the U.K. for longer than six-months.
“If China continues down this path and implements this national security legislation, we will change that status and we will remove that six month limit and allow those BNO passport holders to come to the U.K.,” explained the secretary. “And to apply to work and study for extendable periods of 12 months, and that would itself provide a pathway to future citizenship.”
China’s proposed national security law for Hong Kong is in direct conflict with its obligations under the Joint Declaration. If enacted, this law would violate Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms. UK and ???????????????????????? are deeply concerned.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) May 28, 2020
China claims the move would violate international law and has threatened counter-measures if the U.K. moves forward with the policy.