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Boris Johnson offers Hong Kong citizens refuge in UK in response to China

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  • The UK offers millions of Hong Kong citizens the right to move to the UK.
  • UK prime minister Boris Johnson announces the move in retaliation to China’s passage of a new national security law in the country.
  • Johnson says the law breaches the Sino-British joint declaration.
  • Around three million Hong Kong citizens with British visa rights will be allowed to move to the UK.

Boris Johnson has offered three million Hong Kong citizens the chance to live in the UK after China defied global opposition to impose new laws on the region.

The UK prime minister on Wednesday told the House of Commons that his government will go ahead with the move after China imposed new security laws on the semiautonomous region on Tuesday.

The new laws, opposed by the UK, European Union and United States, are designed to curtail anti-government protests in the region.

In retaliation, the UK government is to offer a 12-month extendable visa to all Hong Kong citizens eligible to apply for a British national overseas passport — some 3 million people.

Johnson earlier this month said the act would be “one of the biggest changes to our visa system in history.”

Johnson today told Members of Parliament: “The enactment and imposition of this national security law constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British joint declaration.

“It violates Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and is in direct conflict with Hong Kong basic law.

“The law also threatens the freedoms and rights protected by the joint declaration.”

He added: “We made clear that if China continued down this path we would introduce a new route for those with British national overseas status to enter the UK, granting them limited right to remain with the ability to live and work in the UK and thereafter to apply for citizenship — and that is precisely what we will do now.”

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