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International

UK will give citizenship to Hong Kong residents

July 02, 2020 07:10 AM

COURTESY HT JULY 2

UK will give citizenship to Hong Kong residents
CHINA LAW ROW: London calls Beijing’s move a ‘clear and serious breach’ of pre-1997 deal

A woman reacts after being hit with pepper spray during a face-off with police at an anti-Beijing rally in Hong Kong on Wednesday. AFP
Prasun Sonwalkar and Agencies

prasun.sonwalkar@hindustantimes.com

London : Terming China’s new security law for Hong Kong a “clear and serious breach” of the agreement that preceded the 1997 handover, the British government Britain on Wednesday offered a new citizenship path to the city’s residents.

The legislation passed on Tuesday by China’s parliament outlaws secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities illegal, as well as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs, with penalties up to life imprisonment.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said the law violates the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration under which Hong Kong’s autonomy was guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” principle for 50 years.

Raab told the House of Commons that there will be no limit to how many who could use the new pathway, but estimates put the figure of British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders and dependants at nearly 3 million.

The immigration route will allow BNOs to come to the UK without the current six-month limit, granting them five years limited leave to remain

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