London: Because of the oppressive tactics and efforts of the Chinese government to acquire Hong Kong, the UK government has initiated moves to award British citizenship to the residents of Hong Kong. A British daily claimed that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared this information with the British lawmakers in a meeting. In the past, the United Kingdom has awarded British citizenship to Asians in Uganda and whites in Zimbabwe.
Last week, a bill ‘National Security Law’, pertaining to Hong Kong, was presented in the Chinese parliament. The concerned bill was advocated saying that there was a need to strengthen the agencies looking after law and order in Hong Kong because of Chinese national security. This bill officially permits Chinese security agencies to take action in Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong have started massive demonstrations against this new bill.
The local security agencies in Hong Kong have taken an aggressive stand against these demonstrations, and an action was taken against the demonstrators with tear gas and lathi charge. At the same time, nearly 200 demonstrators have been arrested in 24 hours. While the new protests have started in Hong Kong, the anti-Chinese movements are gaining momentum even on the international level. US National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien, warned that the special status awarded to Hong Kong would be withdrawn and sanctions will be imposed on China along with Hong Kong.
The tone in the United Kingdom, who handed over Hong Kong to China two decades ago, is also becoming aggressive. Lord Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong, has advised the British government to intervene in Hong Kong openly. Nearly 200 British diplomats, officials and human rights activists have demanded action against China through a letter. Against this very background, British daily Sunday Express reported the information regarding the plan drawn out by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a meeting with British lawmakers, held at his residence a few months ago, had given the information regarding the plan to award British citizenship to the residents of Hong Kong. Hong Kong has a population of 7.5 million and more than 300,000 people in Hong Kong hold a British passport. Although Prime Minister Johnson did not specify as to who will get British citizenship, the groups in Hong Kong have demanded British citizenship for everyone in Hong Kong.
In 1972, Idi Amin, the dictator in Uganda, expelled more than 60,000 Asians from the country. All these Asians were given asylum and awarded British citizenship. Thereafter, British citizenship was granted to thousands of whites, living in Zimbabwe, in the 1980-90 decades.
Hong Kong was a British colony once upon a time, and as per an agreement signed with China, it was handed over to China in 1997. But the British government signed some crucial agreements during the handover. As per these agreements, the Hong Kong administration is to be run under the ‘One Country Two Systems’ principle. The agreement also has the term that the Hong Kong autonomy will be unaffected for 50 years from the handover.
But since the last few years, the Chinese communist government is making moves to change the administration systems in Hong Kong. The Chinese rulers brought bills in 2003, 2014 and 2019 to gain comprehensive control over Hong Kong. In 2014, the Chinese rules even succeeded in pressurising Hong Kong and implementing their bill.
But last year, the people of Hong Kong forced the Chinese ruling communist government to retreat with fierce resistance. Therefore, the Chinese Communist rulers, agitated with the failure, have started taking efforts to tighten their grip over Hong Kong through this National Security Law.
The international community, which is already opposing China over the Coronavirus pandemic issue, has become aggressive on this subject. Countries like the United States and the United Kingdom are contemplating a decisive action against China. The move to award British citizenship is an indicator of the action. Continuation of these British moves, despite the Chinese threats against interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, become significant.