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Britain Opens Path for HK Citizens
News Bytes 07/6/2020 15 Comments

On Tuesday of last week, China imposed a sweeping new national security law upon the formerly British city of Hong Kong. The city was transferred from the U.K. to China in 1997. An agreement between the United Kingdom and China guaranteed a Western-style rule of law and protection of civil rights in the city for 50 years. But China has been decisively extending its communist control over the metropolis of seven million, and the 50 years is not up.

Within hours of the new law’s confirmation, Chinese police arrested nearly 300 protesters in Hong Kong. They were charged with crimes against the government for carrying flags and signs that promoted independence or displayed the British flag.

Britain called the law a flagrant breach of China’s international obligations and a “clear and serious violation” of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. (Sino comes from Latin and refers to anything Chinese.) The U.K. promised a formal, action-oriented response to China’s new restrictive law.

On Wednesday, Britain announced that it would uphold its historic duty to the former British colony by making immigration to the U.K. easier for Hong Kongers. It extended residency rights for up to three million citizens of Hong Kong. That’s almost half the current population.

That many Hong Kongers already are eligible for the British National Overseas passport. The passport permits them to travel to the U.K. Those individuals may also now begin a path toward becoming British citizens, if they choose to do so.

Here’s how it works: Eligible people from Hong Kong will have the right to live and work in the U.K. for five years. After that, they will be allowed to apply for “settled status” and then again for citizenship. Sadly, the option is offered only to those Hong Kongers who were born before the 1997 transfer. That leaves out many of the young adults and students who are actively protesting and asking for the right to live free. And it’s those young adults who are at most risk of arrest under the new law.

Moving to a new place halfway around the world would be very difficult. Leaving behind a culture and a history and even worse—extended family—may be more than some can do. But living under the oppression of communism is almost certainly the cost of staying.

(A person displays the Hong Kong colonial flag on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The previous day, China had enacted a national security law that cracks down on protests and calls for liberty in the territory. AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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Most recent comments

I think China is being unfair

I think China is being unfair and cruel. I feel bad for Hong Kong.

I agree lena, China is being

I agree lena, China is being unfair as usual. Praying for the protesters of Hong Kong.

Beginning of second paragraph

Speaking from experience, moving halfway around the world IS hard.

This is cruel. Lots of people

This is cruel. Lots of people were born after 97. K n yes that would be hard to move half way across the world and I have never moved lol

@ Carys M

It's not the Chinese people that are being unfair, but the Communist government. Having lived there, I would go so far as to say most of the people don't like it. Could be wrong though.

Addition

Not getting onto you or anything, just want people to realize that :-)

I hope the U.S. or Britain

I hope the U.S. or Britain never go to war with China, the repercussions would be catastrophic. Though it seems inevitable at this point.

@ Kiara J.

i'll pray for your house situation. i get it. we moved in sept. last year and our parents are thinking about moving back! i've moved about 9 times in my life.:)

@ Riley D.

u haven't commented in awhile

@ Everyone

if anyone would explain 2 post links ( world teen, of course ), that would b gr8 :)

@ Belwyn

And I thought 6 times was bad enough by the age of 9! Obviously I’m not nine now :-P . Did you move between different countries?

@ Belwyn

What do you mean ‘Post Links’? I don’t understand sorry!

Moving IS hard! It's even

Moving IS hard! It's even harder when moving to a new country that speaks a totally different language. Random statement: Mandarin has no alphabet. (I tried learning Chinese before and failed) I pray the people in China will be all right.

@ Alaina

I didn’t know Mandarin didn’t have an alphabet. That’s weird!

@KN this is Caro

@KN you lived in China? Cool! I did too! And I totally agree that moving halfway around the world is really hard!

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