BORIS Johnson is able to open the door to almost three million Hong Kong residents if China imposes a brand new “safety” regulation that critics say would rob the territory of its autonomy.
The Prime Minister stated final evening a proposed new nationwide safety regulation in Hong Kong would “dramatically erode its autonomy” and breach the phrases of its treaty with the UK.
Johnson stated he would “willingly” usher in one of many “greatest adjustments in our visa system in British historical past” as an “different” to Chinese language repression.
China’s parliament final week accredited a choice to create legal guidelines for Hong Kong to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and overseas interference.
The regulation will alter the territory’s mini-constitution, or Primary Legislation, to require its authorities to implement measures to be determined later by Chinese language leaders.
However critics have stated the regulation erodes the “one nation, two methods” framework that promised Hong Kong freedoms not present in mainland China for 50 years.
Protesters have taken to the streets in Hong Kong to show , regardless of coronavirus social distancing restrictions nonetheless being in place.
If China chooses to go forward with its adjustments for the island, the PM stated he would successfully improve the standing of British Nationwide (Abroad) passports, which 350,000 folks in Hong Kong maintain and a couple of.5 million are eligible to use for, to grant immigration rights past the present six month restrict.
Writing in The Occasions, Boris stated: “If China imposes its nationwide safety regulation, the British Authorities will change our immigration guidelines and permit any holder of those passports from Hong Kong to return to the UK for a renewable interval of 12 months and be given additional immigration rights, together with the precise to work, which might place them on a path to citizenship.
“This is able to quantity to one of many greatest adjustments in our visa system in British historical past.”
This is able to quantity to one of many greatest adjustments in our visa system in British historical past
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Mr Johnson added: “Many individuals in Hong Kong worry their lifestyle, which China pledged to uphold, is underneath risk.
“If China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain couldn’t in good conscience shrug our shoulders and stroll away; as a substitute we’ll honour our obligations and supply another.”
The PM’s intervention got here simply hours after Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab informed MPs the UK would look to offer a “pathway to citizenship” for British Nationwide (Abroad) passport holders in Hong Kong if China carried out its adjustments.
Making an announcement to the Commons, Raab stated the proposed nationwide safety regulation can be a “clear violation” of China’s worldwide obligations and would “undermine” present commitments to guard the rights and the freedoms of the folks of Hong Kong, as set out within the Joint Declaration.
Raab warned China that there was nonetheless time to “rethink” its behaviour.
A protester towards the brand new regulation is led away by police in Hong Kong[/caption]
Riot police fired tear fuel and water cannons at protesters[/caption]
A protesters engulfed by tear fuel throughout a protest towards the safety regulation[/caption]
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Political strain is rising throughout the Commonwealth, with chair of the Commons overseas affairs choose committee, Tom Tugendhat, becoming a member of his counterparts in Australia, Canada and New Zealand in writing to their nationwide leaders to specific considerations over the deliberate safety regulation.
The collectively signed letter by the committee chairs, which can even be despatched to the Secretary Common of the United Nations, states that Beijing’s imposition is a breach of the legally binding settlement between the UK and China.
The representatives have requested for collaboration to ascertain a United Nations Particular Envoy for Hong Kong.
Mr Tugendhat MP stated: “The safety regulation will enable Beijing to launch an entire crackdown on free speech, taking away the voice of the folks by stopping any criticism of the Chinese language authorities’s ultra-authoritarian rule.
“We can’t enable this to occur.”
Police and pro-democracy protesters conflict in Hong Kong as the town’s legislature debates a regulation that bans insulting China’s nationwide anthem[/caption]