Up to 300,000 British National (Overseas) (BNO) passport holders in Hong Kong could receive UK citizenship should China not suspend a controversial new security law in the former British territory.
BNO passport holders currently have the right to remain in the UK for as long as 180 days without a visa in a reciprocal agreement offering the same right to remain for British nationals visiting Hong Kong.
On the back of China’s new security law being passed into law, however, nation’s around the world are starting to react.
The statement by the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said
“If China continues down this path and implements this national security legislation, we will remove that six month limit and allow those BNO passport holders to come to the UK and to apply to work and study for extendable periods of 12 months and that will itself provide a pathway to future citizenship,”
Mr. Raab spoke after the UK government alongside Australia and Canada jointly condemned China’s plan.
Backing the proposed new law from China, the chairman of China’s parliamentary committee, Li Zhanshu, claimed the law was “in line with the fundamental interests of Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots”.
Protests across the territory opposing Beijing’s recent moves are expected to continue throughout the weekend.