“Boris Johnson: UK would admit 3 million people from Hong Kong”
June 3, 2020 | 12:27pm
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Getty Images/Chris J Ratcliffe
“Hong Kong succeeds because its people are free,” Johnson wrote in the Times of London newspaper. “If China proceeds, this would be in direct conflict with its obligations under the joint declaration, a legally binding treaty registered with the United Nations.”
“Many people in Hong Kong fear that their way of life – which China pledged to uphold – is under threat,” he added.
Johnson said he would allow British National Overseas passport-holders in Hong Kong to settle in the United Kingdom and provide them a path to citizenship.
He said there are about 350,000 holders of the passport in Hong Kong and 2.5 million are eligible.
Communist China’s parliament rubber-stamped a measure last week that would crack down on secession, sedition, terrorism and foreign meddling in Hong Kong.
“If China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away; instead we will honor our obligations and provide an alternative,” Johnson said.
Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997 and it was granted autonomy under a “one country, two systems” policy with Beijing. China told the United Kingdom to butt out of its affairs.
“The UK’s irresponsible remarks and accusations … have grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs including Hong Kong affairs,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, according to Reuters. “We advise the UK side to step back from the brink.”
Unrest in Hong Kong has been ongoing since March 2019 when Beijing considered a now-abandoned measure that would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong be returned to mainland China for trial.
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