News

World

Boris Johnson Offers Hong Kong Residents Refuge, Path to U.K. Citizenship if China Cracks Down

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a lawmakers meeting to elect a speaker, in London, Britain December 17, 2019. (Jessica Taylor/Handout via Reuters)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that the United Kingdom is ready to offer refuge and citizenship to nearly three million Hong Kong citizens should China implement a restrictive national security law that is currently pending.

“Many people in Hong Kong fear their way of life — which China pledged to uphold — is under threat,” Johnson wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday in the South China Morning Post, which is based in Hong Kong. “If China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away.”

Johnson said that Beijing’s new national security law violates the terms of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the agreement the UK reached with China after Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

The prime minister wrote that if necessary, Britain will allow Hong Kong residents who hold British National Overseas passports to come to the UK for a “renewable period of 12 months and be given further immigration rights, including the right to work, which could place them on a route to citizenship.”  The move would be “one of the biggest changes in our visa system in British history,” Johnson added.

Currently, about 350,000 Hong Kong residents hold such passports and another 2.5 million would be eligible for them, the prime minister said.

China last month approved national security laws that would allow Beijing to wield expanded power over Hong Kong. Pro-Democracy activists and other critics say the national security laws would effectively scrap the “one country, two systems” policy that has allowed Hong Kong its political freedoms and civil liberties despite still being technically governed by China.

China claims that the laws, which have not yet been implemented, are necessary to crack down on separatism, subversion, terrorism, and foreign intervention in Hong Kong in the wake of the pro-democracy protests against Beijing. The measure would also allow China’s state security agencies to operate in the territory, although details of the legislation have not yet been released.

China has also argued that the agreement between China and Hong Kong no longer applies.

“The U.K. has had no sovereignty, governance or supervision over Hong Kong since its return (to Chinese rule),” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Tuesday. “Therefore, the British side has no right to cite the Sino-British Joint Declaration to make irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs and interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

U.S.

A Data Double Take: Police Shootings

In a recent article, social scientist Patrick Ball revisited his and Kristian Lum’s 2015 study, which made a compelling argument for the underreporting of lethal police shootings by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Lum and Ball’s study may be old, but it bears revisiting amid debates over the American ... Read More
U.S.

A Data Double Take: Police Shootings

In a recent article, social scientist Patrick Ball revisited his and Kristian Lum’s 2015 study, which made a compelling argument for the underreporting of lethal police shootings by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Lum and Ball’s study may be old, but it bears revisiting amid debates over the American ... Read More

How Many Jeffrey Epsteins Are There?

Goodman Brown was a young, pious man, from a family of “honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs,” when he first discovered that the society around him was full of evil hiding in plain sight. Brown, the main character of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 short story “Young Goodman Brown,” ... Read More

How Many Jeffrey Epsteins Are There?

Goodman Brown was a young, pious man, from a family of “honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs,” when he first discovered that the society around him was full of evil hiding in plain sight. Brown, the main character of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 short story “Young Goodman Brown,” ... Read More
Culture

How Long Will Margaret Sanger Last?

Much of the radical Left is at present consumed by a feverish desire to erase from U.S. history anyone whom they’ve deemed in some way insufficiently loyal to the progressive creed of 2020. The statue-toppling brigades have exercised little discretion in determining which of our leaders are no longer fit for ... Read More
Culture

How Long Will Margaret Sanger Last?

Much of the radical Left is at present consumed by a feverish desire to erase from U.S. history anyone whom they’ve deemed in some way insufficiently loyal to the progressive creed of 2020. The statue-toppling brigades have exercised little discretion in determining which of our leaders are no longer fit for ... Read More
U.S.

The Audacity of a New Kind of Hope

‘Who are we?” “What are we here for?” These are some of the most fundamental questions of our lives. And they can lead to a bit of a crisis these days, as there is so much uncertainty. Those questions are about more than each one of us as an individual. As statues are being torn down, the question of who ... Read More
U.S.

The Audacity of a New Kind of Hope

‘Who are we?” “What are we here for?” These are some of the most fundamental questions of our lives. And they can lead to a bit of a crisis these days, as there is so much uncertainty. Those questions are about more than each one of us as an individual. As statues are being torn down, the question of who ... Read More