With China Cracking Down, 3M People Have a Way Out

The UK offers a 'pathway to citizenship' to British nationals in Hong Kong
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2020 12:45 PM CDT
3M Might Have a Way Out of Hong Kong
A ferry leaves the port with Hong Kong business district seen in the background Thursday, May 28, 2020.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Some 3 million people in Hong Kong may have a way out if China cracks down with newly approved national-security legislation, Reuters reports. Britain says it's offering extended visa rights and a pathway to citizenship to roughly 2.9 million people there after China approved new rules to control the former UK colony. With democracy activists and diplomats saying Hong Kong's semi-autonomous status is in jeopardy—and Trump's administration saying the city is no longer autonomous—the UK has offered help to British nationals who live there.

"If China imposes this law, we will explore options to allow British Nationals Overseas to apply for leave to stay in the UK, including a path to citizenship," said Britain's home secretary, Priti Patel. "We will continue to defend the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong." China claims the new legislation is designed to curb terrorism, foreign interference, subversion, and secession in the city of over 7.5 million. Bloomberg offers a quick history primer, noting that Hong Kong was a UK colony for 156 years until being returned to Chinese control in 1997, when many residents were given status as British nationals.
(Read more Hong Kong stories.)

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