20 fugitives 'will take their chances and stay'
ABOUT 20 political fugitives from China want to stay in Hong Kong after the handover, an informed source says.
The source, a member of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic and Democratic Movement in China, said there were about 100 dissidents now in Hong Kong.
The dissidents, who had been smuggled into the territory, had been given permission to stay by the immigration authorities.
'They prefer to stay because they already have jobs and have settled down,' he said. Many who are well educated managed to find white-collar jobs.
'Most are using their real names [on their identity cards] and are not afraid of being purged in future,' he said.
On Friday Director of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Lu Ping said it would be up to the future Special Administrative Region government to decide whether illegal immigrants could obtain permanent residency.
The source said he had worries about the dissidents choosing to stay, saying: 'If the Communist Government wants to know their identities, it must be able to do so.' But the source was still optimistic about the chances of the other 80 dissidents getting right of abode abroad.
In the run-up to the handover he would contemplate destroying all his files on dissidents in order to ensure their safety, he said.