World UK's BNO fund to support Hong Kongers as protest leader Nathan Law granted asylum
Hong Kong people are ‘distressed’ and ‘disillusioned,' says pro-democracy ex-lawmaker
Emily Lau, a former Democratic Party member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, said some people fear they have lost important freedoms.Widespread pro-democracy protests that rocked Hong Kong in 2019 have largely subsided, in part due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the enactment of a controversial national security law last year.
The United Kingdom hasa £43 million ($59 million) fund to support Hong Kongers emigrating to the country .
Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers are expected to, which provides a path to citizenship for 3 million people -- and their estimated 2.3 million .
"Backed by over £43 million, the Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) Integration Programme will help status holders access housing, work and educational support to ensure they are able to quickly integrate and contribute to their newfound communities," the UK Home Office said in a.
Democracy in Hong Kong Dwindling as China Cuts Down on Elected Officials
China's top legislative body proposed the changes this month and began debating them on Monday.China's top legislative body announced plans earlier this month to increase the number of seats in Hong Kong's legislature from 70 to 90. Thirty-five of the 70 legislative members currently in Hong Kong's Legislative Council are elected, but the new changes approved by China will reduce Hong Kong's number of elected officials to 20, according to the Associated Press.
"The move delivers on the UK's historic and moral commitment to the people of Hong Kong who chose to retain their ties to the UK by taking up BN(O) status in 1997. It provides them with a pathway to live in the UK should they choose to do so."
UK BN(O) scheme angers Beijing
BN(O) holders were granted a special status in the 1980s, but for decades the document did not give them the right to work or live in the UK.
Communist China ended Hong Kong’s democracy. Will Biden let Taiwan be next?
The Chinese Communist Party has made its final assault on Hong Kong’s democratic system. At General Secretary Xi Jinping’s direction, the Chinese Communist Party is proposing that members of Hong Kong’s democratically elected Legislative Council be vetted and approved by the Election Committee of Hong Kong, a pro-Beijing committee that also selects Hong Kong’s chief executive. Here’s what that means: Anybody who holds office in Hong Kong will be a puppet for Xi and beholden to China’s communist ideals.
That changed last year, after Beijing's imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong, which banned secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces. The law has already had a major effect on the city's political life, with almost every prominent opposition politician currently facing subversion charges, and widespread self-censorship.
Last month, Beijing, further limiting the right of people in the city to choose their leaders.
Both moves were met with widespread international criticism, particularly from the UK, which argued the laws breached an agreement governing Hong Kong's 1997 handover. In turn, Beijing has accused London of acting illegally by providing a pathway to citizenship for Hong Kongers under the BN(O) scheme.
Opinion: Republicans are politicizing the border and children's lives
Julián Castro writes that Republicans' fear-mongering and gaslighting regarding the increase in unaccompanied migrant minors in the US southern border shows a disturbing hypocrisy and how detached from reality they are.Like the children arriving at our border every day, my grandmother came to the US from Mexico at seven years old seeking a better life. She worked as a maid, a cook and a babysitter to provide for her family. Two generations later, one of her grandsons is serving in Congress and the other had the opportunity to serve in President Barack Obama's cabinet.
Speaking earlier this year, Chinese foreign affairs ministry spokesman Zhao Lijianthe UK of disregarding the fact "it has been 24 years since Hong Kong returned to the motherland" and violating promises made at the time of handover.
He said the BN(O) plan "seriously violates China's sovereignty, grossly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs, and seriously violates international law and basic norms of international relations."
The Beijing and Hong Kong governments have said they will no longer recognize BN(O) passports as a valid travel document, though most holders also hold Hong Kong or other passports, so the effect of this will be limited.
In a statement, British Home Secretary Priti Patel said London had "promised to uphold freedom for the people of Hong Kong, which is why I am proud that we have been able to support so many people when they have needed our help."
"It's an unprecedented and generous scheme and there is no other visa in the world of this nature," she added. "We are working hard to successfully resettle people here and recognize there is nothing more difficult than leaving your home to rebuild a life in a new country."
The Conviction of a Hero in Hong Kong | Opinion
Chinese officials have convicted Mr. Lee of "unauthorized assembly." As Mr. Lee will point out, there is no such conception under the principles and laws of freedom. Although one would not know it from America's pandemic response, people have a natural right to meet and speak with whomever and to say whatever they please. The government may restrict this right, but only for narrowly defined purposes, and only by lawful procedures that involve more than one branch of government. In China and in all despotisms, assembly is allowed only upon sufferance of the powerful. We probably cannot help Mr. Lee today.
Most of the money will go to councils in England "to provide targeted support for new arrivals," including English language lessons and help with housing for those who need it. Some £5 million will be used to establish "12 virtual welcome hubs" across the UK, to aid Hong Kongers in matters such as applying for schools, registering with GPs or setting up businesses.
Protest leader Nathan Law granted asylum
While millions of Hong Kongers are eligible for BN(O) status, many of the younger protesters who took part in anti-government unrest which rocked the city in 2019 and attracted worldwide attention will have been born too late.
In the past year, authorities have begun rounding up and prosecuting those suspected of protest-related offenses, while other protest leaders and activists have been charged under the national security law.
This has led some to flee overseas and claim asylum, including former lawmaker and Umbrella Movement leader Nathan Law, 27, whohe had been granted refugee status in the UK, having moved there last year amid fears he would be prosecuted under the security law.
While Law is older than many protesters, he was born in mainland China, and so is not eligible for the BN(O) scheme.
"The fact that I am wanted under the National Security Law shows that I am exposed to severe political persecution and am unlikely to return to Hong Kong without risk," Law said on Twitter. "My situation, however, may not apply to all Hong Kong asylum seekers. Some may not have enough evidence to substantiate their claims due to lack of media reports or fleeing before the persecution. Fears over their claims being denied, most of them live in distress and anxiety."
Law said he hoped the Home Office would "consider more comprehensive evidence" in cases involving Hong Kong protesters, so as to enable more to claim asylum in the UK.
Xi’s Shifting China Is Compelling Investors to Run, Hide or Hire .
For any company doing business in China, the choice is now clearer than ever: Avoid commenting on any controversial subjects or risk losing access to the world’s second-largest economy. Over the past few weeks, President Xi Jinping’s government endorsed a boycott against retailers like Hennes & Mauritz AB and slapped sanctions on a range of organizations -- including a group of barristers in the U.K. -- over statements made on alleged forced labor in Xinjiang. Then on Tuesday, he signed off on sweeping changes to Hong Kong’s election system to give Beijing veto power over any candidates.