UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has vowed to enable 3 million Hong Kong residents to settle in the UK as the Chinese government introduce a draconian national security act which threatens pro-independence activists.
The announcement of this plan has been met with approval from both human rights organisations as well as senior Conservative party officials. There are discrepancies however in the government’s messaging with Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, proposing to limit the plans to British oversea passport holders. This would limit the plan to 350,000.
This announcement follows a police crackdown on protesters who opposed the new national security law. The law is designed to stamp out “terrorism” and calls for independence.
Read more here: Hong Kong cracks down on protests against national security laws
This bill has increased fears that China will undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy which was guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration. This agreement between China and the British was made in 1984 and allowed Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy, under the formula known as “one country, two systems,” until 2049.
Writing in the Times, Johnson states;
“If China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away; instead we will honour our obligations and provide an alternative.”
British Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, who is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, has stated on China;
“They are about the undermining of the rule of law around the world and its replacement with the rule of force.”