China may not recognise British-issued Hong Kong passports

By: |
October 23, 2020 4:57 PM

More than 300,000 of Hong Kong's 7 million residents hold BNO passports, according to the U.K., more than double the number four years earlier.

China's retaliation followed after the US State Department approved the sale of 135 Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles and related equipment estimated to be worth over USD one billion.

China’s foreign ministry said Friday it may decide not to recognise British-issued passports for Hong Kong residents in retaliation for London’s moves to open a path to citizenship for those holding the documents.

Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that Britain had “violated its promises” and “played up” the issue of the British National (Overseas) passports.

Britain said in May that it would allow holders of such passports extended stays and the possibility of citizenship, prompting thousands of Hong Kongers to rush to renew or apply for them as Beijing steps up restriction on political expression.

Hong Kong reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997 and the sides have increasingly feuded over civil rights in the territory. Britain accuses China of failing to live up to its pledges to maintain freedoms in the special administrative region, while Beijing says London is interfering in its internal affairs.

Differences have sharpened since China in June imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong in response to months of anti-government protests last year. London suspended its extradition treaty with the territory and has offered political asylum to persons targeted under the new legislation.

“The British side violated its promises, insisted on going its own way and repeatedly played up the issue of BNO Passports,” Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.

“As the British side violated its commitment first, China will consider not recognizing the BNO Passport as a valid travel document, and reserves the right to take further measures,” Zhao said.

More than 300,000 of Hong Kong’s 7 million residents hold BNO passports, according to the U.K., more than double the number four years earlier. Those who qualify can apply for visas enabling them and their immediate family members to live and work in the U.K. and eventually apply for citizenship, the British government says.

However, they must show they have the means to support themselves in the U.K. for six months, and will not be entitled to public support.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1UK extends work visas for Indian, foreign doctors and nurses in COVID-19 fight
2IATO urges govt to announce dates for restoration of e-visa, tourist visas
3Lawsuit now covers H-1B petitions for market research analyst positions filed by US businesses