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World China will 'no longer recognise' UK-issued BNO passport for Hong Kongers

11:12  29 january  2021
11:12  29 january  2021 Source:   afp.com

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China said Friday that it would not recognize the British National Overseas ( BNO ) passport as a valid travel document or for proof of identity from January 31. "From January 31, China will no longer recognize the so-called BNO passport as a travel document and ID document, and reserves the right to take further actions," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters. Beijing's decision to impose a national security law in June prompted the UK to last year offer refuge to almost 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for the BNO passport from January 31.

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China on Friday said it will "no longer recognise" the British National (Overseas) passport for Hong Kongers, as Britain prepares to open its doors to millions more residents of the former colony following a security crackdown by Beijing.

a man wearing a suit and tie: British National (Overseas) status is a legacy of British colonial rule over Hong Kong © ANDY WONG British National (Overseas) status is a legacy of British colonial rule over Hong Kong

The Chinese move follows a promise by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to provide long-term sanctuary for Hong Kong residents who want to leave the territory.

Holders of British National (Overseas) status -- a legacy of UK rule over Hong Kong up to 1997 -- will from Sunday be able to apply to live and work in Britain for up to five years, and eventually seek citizenship.

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China ’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming has said that the Communist state will no longer recognise the British National (Overseas) passport as a valid legal document, suggesting that his country will block the three million Hong Kongers eligible for one from leaving the city. Some 350,000 people in the former British territory have the travel document, but the British government offered to extend that to three million Hong Kong residents and increase entry visas to the UK from six months to up to five years from January 2021, in effect offering a path to settled status and British citizenship.

London insisted that British National Overseas ( BNO ) passports are “legitimate” after China said it may end its recognition of them amid a row over new visa rules offering 3 million Hong Kongers a path to British citizenship. Under the conditions outlined by London this week, BNO passport holders and their The move was blasted as “political manipulation” by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Thursday, while the Chinese Embassy in London said it “violates international law.” A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Reuters that the passports are “legitimate

"I am immensely proud that we have brought in this new route for Hong Kong BNOs to live, work and make their home in our country," Johnson said in a statement.

BNO passport holders previously had only limited rights to visit the UK for up to six months, and no right to work or settle.

Beijing was swift to hit back at the British change on Friday.

"From January 31, China will no longer recognise the so-called BNO passport as a travel document and ID document, and reserves the right to take further actions," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

London says it is acting in response to a National Security Law imposed by China last year which has devastated Hong Kong's democracy movement and shredded freedoms meant to last 50 years under the 1997 handover accord.

The Permanent Colony

  The Permanent Colony Despite having a distinct language, identity, and culture, the city has never been in full control of its development and future.His case has not drawn as much media attention, either domestically or abroad, as some other recent incidents in the city—the day he was arrested, police nabbed some 300 others, fired pepper balls at demonstrators, and tackled a 12-year-old girl to the ground. In the months that followed, a steady, unrelenting clampdown included the jailing of the newspaper executive Jimmy Lai, and the mass arrest of prodemocracy figures has continued.

4b: Long form journalism published more than twelve months prior or before significant developments to the topic it discusses should be submitted as part of a self-post detailing why it is relevant today. 5a: Articles from paywalled sites should be linked to directly, and a copy/paste of the article text provided in I wonder if it’s possible for China to know if the person presenting ID has a BNO passport , as they could potentially use that to refuse people still. But as I understand it, they’re British National overseas, so they’re issued by the UK , so presumably China doesn’t have access to a database to check this in

China has criticized the U . K .’s move to invite more Hong Kong residents to its borders as an inappropriate interference in the country’s domestic affairs. “The U . K . side violated its promises, insisted on going its own way and repeatedly played up the issue of BNO passports ,” Chinese Foreign The BNO identity document is a product of the British colonial era that ended in 1997. It was made to recognize Hong Kong residents of the time as overseas British nationals, but only gave holders the right to visit the country for as long as six months. — With assistance by Matt Turner, and Lucille Liu.


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Zhao said an "indignant" China believed Britain had marched well beyond the scope of the agreement, therefore nullifying it.

"The UK is trying to turn large numbers of Hong Kong residents into second-class UK citizens... and has already completely changed the nature of the BNO," Zhao added.

It is unclear what, in practical terms, China's declaration means.

But it makes good on Beijing's threat to respond to Britain's extended visa offer with some sort of punitive reciprocal measures.

The threat of further action suggests Beijing may be preparing more restrictions for BNO holders down the line.

Chinese officials already warned last year that they might consider ending recognition of BNO passports.

At the time they said it would mean BNO holders being unable to travel to the Chinese mainland.

However, it is unclear whether Chinese authorities would know who holds the document.

Hong Kongers use their own Hong Kong passport or ID card to leave the city. To enter mainland China, they need to use their Hong Kong passport. The only time they might use a BNO is on arrival into Britain or another country that recognises the document.

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Nearly 11,000 Hong Kongers moved to Taiwan in 2020 .
Nearly 11,000 Hong Kongers moved to Taiwan in 2020 -- almost double the number of a year earlier -- after Beijing imposed a sweeping security law on the city. Democratic Taiwan has long attracted Hong Kong people seeking an alternative to their city's frenetic pace and sky-high rents. But a new security law has accelerated an exodus, and the number of Hong Kongers granted short-term residency soared to 10,813 from 5,858 in 2019, according to Taiwan's National Immigration Agency. The previous record was 7,506 in 2014 during the financial hub's pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement".

usr: 0
This is interesting!