The UK is reportedly granting a record ‘five passports a minute’ to Hong Kong residents
- The UK has issued more passports to Hong Kong residents than any year since 1997, when it handed the country back to China
- Hua Chunying, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, accused the UK of interfering with political affairs in China and Hong Kong
As China has strengthened its control over Hong Kong’s government this year, Hong Kong citizens have sought out a record number of UK passports, says a report.
In October, about 60,000 such passports were issued, a more than 50 per cent jump from the same month a year earlier, according to Bloomberg. The UK has issued more passports to Hong Kong residents than any year since 1997, when it handed the special administrative region back to China.
At a briefing on Friday, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said her country has “made clear its position on the BN(O) passport issue.” She accused the UK of interfering with political affairs in China and Hong Kong.
Johnson’s announcement came amid months-long protests in Hong Kong, which since 1997 has been a special administrative region of China. Pro-democracy advocates and demonstrators there have said China’s restrictive new security law is stripping away freedoms.
“The use of courts to silence peaceful dissent is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes and underscores once again that the Chinese Communist Party’s greatest fear is the free speech and free thinking of its own people,” he said.
China responded by saying it was “a country under the rule of law.”
Chunying said: “We urge certain US politicians to stop meddling in China’s Hong Kong affairs and deliberately smearing and blaming China in the name of so-called freedom and democracy. In fact, the more they did so, the more people will see through their double standards and hypocrisy.”
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