Canada will guarantee Hongkongers with dual Canadian-Chinese citizenship full consular services when they enter the mainland as Chinese nationals, the country’s immigration minister has told the Sunday Morning Post in an exclusive interview. John McCallum gave the assurance after China reportedly rejected tourist visas to some Hong Kong-born naturalised Canadians and told them to travel to the mainland as Chinese citizens. Responding to public alarm, Canada’s foreign ministry pressed Beijing for answers, but according to McCallum there has been no change in policy and dual citizens can still get regular travel visas to China. To allay further doubts, McCallum said Canada had extended consular services to its dual citizens regardless. He said his country was “standing up for human rights” in Hong Kong with the move. Canadian minister wants to attract more Chinese to his country as tourists, students ... and maybe investors “To Hong Kong citizens who are Canadian citizens there was an issue about the attitude of the Chinese government towards dual citizens,” McCallum said in Hong Kong after a four-day visit to Beijing to woo investors. “We haven’t heard any further statements of an apparent change in policy since that date but we have said we would provide full consular services to such people if there are difficulties.” But the fact remains that China does not officially allow dual nationality. That means the potential for diplomatic rows remains as Hongkongers who get into trouble on the mainland will still be treated as Chinese nationals rather than foreign citizens. Human rights law expert Professor Michael Davis, formerly of the University of Hong Kong, noted that Beijing would not allow foreign citizenship to override Chinese nationality unless the latter was renounced. “If they enter the country only on a Chinese travel document then Beijing takes the view that their arrest is purely a local matter with possibly severe human rights implications, as seen in the recent bookseller cases,” Davis said. Canada terror incident: Islamic State supporter reportedly shot dead in Ontario after detonating device He was referring to the detention of five Hong Kong booksellers on the mainland, two of whom were also foreign nationals. Outgoing radical legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip, who has been vocal about citizenship problems faced by Hongkongers with Canadian passports, welcomed McCallum’s position as an “honourable” one. “That decision doesn’t mean much to the Chinese government if that Canadian citizen is going to be arrested in China ... and the possibility they will be treated as Chinese citizens,” Chan said. “I don’t think the Chinese government will respect the decision of the Canadians in deciding their own actions.” The immigration minister described Hong Kong as a “long-term partner”, relying heavily on personal ties through an estimated half a million Hongkongers in Canada and 300,000 Canadians here in the city. “So given these historical ties, that relationship is very important, and given our strong stance on human rights, we certainly would encourage China to adhere to the ‘one country, two systems’ policy,” he said.