On Friday, Reuters reported the following:
Britain is prepared to offer extended visa rights and a pathway to citizenship for almost 3 million Hong Kong residents in response to China’s push to impose national security legislation in the former British colony.
The national security legislation recently put in place in Hong Kong by China is going to have repercussions worldwide. As a free state, Hong Kong has been a global financial center. Its residents have enjoyed the fruits of that status. As simply another part of Communist China, Hong Kong will not have the same economy or status.
My first question is whether or not China will allow a mass exodus of Hong Kong residents. Is Hong Kong a valuable asset if the majority of the people leave? How many residents would be willing to give up the life they have known for the sake of freedom? According to worldometers.info, Hong Kong has a population of about 7.5 million. The median age of that population is about 44 years old.
The article reports:
Foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Thursday that if Beijing went ahead, Britain would extend the rights of 350,000 ‘British National Overseas’ passport holders.
On Friday the interior ministry said that this policy would apply to all BNOs currently in Hong Kong – a much larger group of around 2.9 million people according to British government figures.
“If China imposes this law, we will explore options to allow British Nationals Overseas to apply for leave to stay in the UK, including a path to citizenship,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement.
“We will continue to defend the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.”
The article concludes:
Beijing says the new legislation, likely to come into force before September, will tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in the city.
Chinese authorities and Hong Kong’s government say the legislation poses no threat to the city’s autonomy and the interests of foreign investors will be preserved.
Somehow I doubt that any of the claims China is currently making are true.