søndag 7. juni 2020

Beijing’s lessons and laws: why Hong Kong families are looking to Britain

Arthur fears that as the Chinese Communist party tightens its grip on Hong Kong, his kids’ education will be undermined. Gloria Siu is worried that the sweeping new security law imposed by Beijing could mean she faces retribution for pro-democracy posts on social media. Both say they plan to take up Boris Johnson’s unexpected offer of a path to British citizenship for the city’s residents – if China doesn’t back down on its harsh legislation – not because they want to leave their home, but because they fear what the future holds there.

The law, a response to a year of anti-government protests, allows Chinese security forces to operate in Hong Kong and targets “secession, subversion and terrorism”. These charges are often used to suppress dissidents and critics on the mainland, leading to fears they will be deployed for the same purpose in the city.

Over the past week there has been a huge surge of interest in British National Overseas passports, hybrid documents issued by British colonial authorities that allow their holders to travel under British consular protection, but until now have not conferred the right to settle in the UK.