lørdag 11. september 2021

Fleeing China, Hong Kongers flock to Britain. ‘We are not emigrating — we are escaping’

He has no job, he’s still grappling with English and the climate is often cold and wet, but Dennis Chan is still grateful to be setting up his life in Britain. The 34-year-old arrived in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, alone in April after quitting his job as a cargo officer for Cathay Pacific airlines in Hong Kong.

He had never set foot in Britain before. But he also felt he didn’t recognize his own homeland any longer amid China’s relentless crackdown on political dissent and civic freedoms. After Beijing imposed a sweeping new national security law on Hong Kong in July of last year, he felt an urgency to leave. “It is such a great change to me. The culture is very different,” he said of his newly adopted country, adding: “But the people of Hong Kong can no longer criticize government or police anymore. Hong Kong is no more the place that I know.”