Canada’s foreign ministry is pressing Beijing for an explanation, after reports that Hong Kong-born naturalised Canadians are being denied the right to travel to mainland China on 10-year visas that are extended to other Canadians, and are being told they can only visit as Chinese nationals Chinese-language media say that since early June, first-generation Hong Kong-born Canadian dual citizens are being told they can only apply to travel to China as Chinese nationals. Previously, they could choose to travel either as Canadian or as Chinese citizens. If true, the changes could be seen as an encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy under the “one country, two systems” principle. “Canada is aware of recent reports of challenges for Canadian-Chinese dual citizens in obtaining visas to visit China from Hong Kong. We are looking into the issue and are following up with the Chinese authorities,” said Felix Corriveau, a spokesman for Immigration Minister John McCallum. Tens of thousands of Hongkongers return from Canada since 1996 The issue is sensitive in Canada, where a population of 36 million includes more than a million people of Chinese descent. Many Hong Kong residents emigrated to Canada and took up citizenship both before and after the city’s return to China in 1997. Tens of thousands have since returned to Hong Kong, where they constitute the bulk of 300,000 Canadian citizens in the former British colony. The Chinese embassy in Ottawa has not received any notification of changes to the visa policy, a spokesman said in an emailed statement. Canadian Member of Parliament Jenny Kwan, who was born in Hong Kong, told reporters on Tuesday she wrote to Foreign Minister Stephane Dion urging him to look into the visa situation. Kwan is a member of the opposition New Democrats. From Hong Kong to Canada and back: the migrants who came home from home “The change in practice should be of grave concern to Canadians, after all, a Canadian is a Canadian. As such, should all Canadians not be treated the same?” she said. Corriveau said that under a 2015 agreement, China had the ability to issue long-term multiple-entry visas to visiting Canadians. “The arrangement however is non-binding,” he added. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, due to visit China for a week in late August to boost trade ties, has previously said Beijing must do more to protect human rights. Earlier this month, Canada complained to China about the behaviour of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who publicly berated a Canadian journalist in Ottawa.