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DW News published this video item, entitled “How will China react to the UK’s Hong Kong BN(O) visa scheme? | DW News” – below is their description.
Millions of Hong Kong residents who hold British National (Overseas) passports are getting the chance to become citizens of Great Britain. The UK is offering a special new visa after China imposed a security law and cracked down on the territory’s pro-democracy movement. Hong Kong was a British colony until its return to China in 1997, and the UK says the scheme fulfills a moral and historic commitment to the city’s residents. China has called the visa offer a gross violation of its sovereignty and said it would no longer recognize BN (O) passports.
The special regulation comes after China imposed a security law in the Asian financial hub last year and cracked down on the territory’s pro-democracy movement. Beijing also announced they will no longer accept the British National (Overseas) passport (BN(O)) as a valid travel document. But Hong Kongers tend to use their own passports or ID cards to leave the city anyway.
The BN(O) provides a special status for Hong Kong residents. It was created under British law in 1987. Now anyone with a British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport and their dependents will be able to apply online for a visa allowing them to live and work in the UK. After five years, they can then apply for citizenship.
Britain expects more than 300,000 people to apply for the visa within the coming years. It says it is fulfilling a historic and moral commitment to Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed the security law on the semi-autonomous city. Britain says the law breaches the terms of agreement under which the colony was handed back to China in 1997.DW News YouTube Channel
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Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.
Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.