China has announced that it will “no longer recognize” the British National (Overseas) passport for Hong Kong NATIONALS.
This move comes against the backdrop of the United Kingdom’s decision to open its doors to millions of residents of its former colony following a Beijing security crackdown.
“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 said, according to press reports.
The UK 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.
“I am immensely proud that we have brought in this new route for Hong Kong BN(O)s to live, work and make their home in our country,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
“In doing so we have honored our profound ties of history and friendship with the people of Hong Kong, and we have stood up for freedom and autonomy — values both the UK and Hong Kong hold dear,” he added.
Any Hong Kong resident born before 1997 is eligible for BNO status.
The new visa path opens up entry to the UK to an estimated 2.9 million adults in Hong Kong and another 2.3 million of their dependents.
Carol May, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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