HSBC tapped for first Hong Kong ETFs under cross-listing scheme

Cheryl Sanders
October 26, 2020

Britain said in May that it would allow holders of such passports extended stays and the possibility of citizenship, prompting thousands of Hong Kongers to rush to renew or apply for them as Beijing steps up restriction on political expression.

The spokesman of the Commissioner's Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR said they strongly disapprove and firmly oppose the British government's breach of its commitment by willfully pushing ahead a new BNO policy in addition to groundless accusations by its Consul-General to Hong Kong against the SAR's national security law, urging the United Kingdom side to immediately correct its mistakes, end its hypocrisy and stop its political maneuvers.

BN (O) status was brought in under a 1987 British law that specifically relates to Hong Kong.

Britain confirmed details of its route to citizenship for nearly three million people in its former colony Hong Kong, saying in a statement that there would be no quota on numbers and that a five-year visa would cost 250 pounds ($330) per person.

The Chinese ministry's Hong Kong office said Britain should "immediately correct its mistakes" regarding the visa policy. Zhao added that Beijing will consider ending recognition of BNO passports as valid travel documents and may take further countermeasures, Zhao added.

The spokesman emphasized that Hong Kong is a part of China, and therefore its affairs are China's internal affairs.

"Britain handed over Hong Kong, its former colony, to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997 under a One Country, Two Systems" framework that was supposed to guarantee the city a high degree of autonomy and Western-style civil liberties not seen on mainland China.

"Nothing in the declaration mentioned that the British have any responsibility regarding Hong Kong after the handover", he said and added, "Britain has no sovereignty over Hong Kong. its so-called commitment to the people of Hong Kong was only wishful thinking and groundless". The government estimates there are around 2.9 million BN (O) s now in Hong Kong.

Anti-government protests have been rocking Hong Kong since past year.

The national security law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong criminalises any act of secession (breaking away from China), subversion (undermining the power or authority of the central government), terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison.

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