About 7,000 Hong Kong residents have fled to the UK since China imposed the National Security Act on Hong Kong and the British government expects more than 300,000 to get such a law. Extending residency rights Over the next five years, Per AP.
why does it matter: The announcement comes as the UK inaugurated a new visa scheme on Sunday – a day after China announced it would do so. It no longer recognizes British National Overseas (BNO) passports of Hong Kong as valid travel documents or proof of identity.
News Lead: The The UK government announced Last July when The security law has been passed The new pathway for British citizenship for Hong Kong residents eligible for BNO status, which was granted to those who lived in the city before the British government returned its former colony to China in 1997.
- Under this offer, Hong Kong residents and their dependents are entitled to stay in the UK for a period of five years, during which they can work or study.
- After that they will be allowed to apply for “settled status” and after an additional year, they will be allowed to apply for citizenship Axios. Dave Lawler notes.
The Big Picture: Some Hong Kong residents told the AP that they will leave because they are worried about being punished for supporting the pro-democracy protest movement – which has seen Many prominent personalities Arrested Or incarcerated In recent months.
- “Many others” said that China’s erosion of the high degree of autonomy they enjoyed in the past has become “unbearable”, and they want their children to have a better future.
- “Most of them say they never plan to return,” the Associated Press notes.