London/Beijing: – The United Kingdom has started implementing the Citizenship Visa Scheme for all the Hong Kong residents who are keen on seeking asylum in the United Kingdom. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new scheme’s implementation by saying that he was proud to open this new avenue for the people who have a British passport and are residing in Hong Kong. Infuriated by the British announcement, China has warned that the British passports held by the Hong Kong residents will not be recognised as valid. The Chinese decision indicates that China and the United Kingdom’s political conflict is set to fester further.
The Chinese government imposed the National Security Law in Hong Kong in July last year. As per this law, any action against China has been termed as illegal, and an act of treason, and there is a provision for life imprisonment to these offenders. As per the law, no local regulations will apply to Hong Kong citizens, and the new law allows the agencies to conduct the proceedings secretly. Intense reactions have been received against the new rule imposed from Hong Kong as well as on the international level.
The United Kingdom, adopting an aggressive stand against this Chinese oppression, announced that the doors of British citizenship are open to Hong Kong residents. As per the agreement signed between the United Kingdom and China, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents have been allowed to retain their British passports. Last year, the United Kingdom had announced that British citizenship could easily be made available to these British passport holders. The scheme has been implemented now, and it is being said that nearly 300,000 Hong Kong residents can avail of this benefit.
As per received information, more than 7,000 Hong Kong residents have already taken asylum in the United Kingdom before implementing the scheme. The new scheme has a provision that these people will get British nationality in one year. The United Kingdom has already announced that there is no upper limit on the number of citizenship visas issued under the scheme for the Hong Kong residents. Therefore, it is expected that thousands of Hong Kong residents with British passports will reach the British shores in the next few months.
A strong reaction has been received from China regarding the British scheme to open the doors for Hong Kong residents. Chinese spokesman Zhao Lijian has warned the United Kingdom that the British passport held by the Hong Kong residents will not be considered valid. The Chinese spokesman also accused the United Kingdom of violating the provisions of the agreement signed with China.