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Amid uproar over new security law, UK PM Boris Johnson offers 3 million Hong Kong residents a chance to get British Citizenship

11:28 PM Jul 01, 2020 | Agencies

Condemning China's new security law, the British government on Wednesday said it would offer eligible Hong Kong residents a chance to settle in the United Kingdom and ultimately apply for citizenship.

As reported by Time, UK PM Boris Johnson has offered three million Hong Kong residents a chance to live and work in the UK following heightened tensions as China passes new security law.

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UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was quoted by CNN as saying that the new national security law imposed by China, constitutes "a clear violation of the autonomy of Hong Kong and a direct threat to the freedoms of its people." He said it was, therefore "a clear and serious violation" of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which laid the groundwork for the city's handover from British to China in 1997 and stated that Hong Kong's existing system of government would remain in place for 50 years.

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China's top legislature adopts law on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong, adds it to Basic Law annex

China's central government on Tuesday night imposed a sweeping national security law, stripping the city of its autonomy and precious civil, social freedoms, cementing Beijing's authoritarian rule over the territory.

Hundreds turned out on Wednesday -- the 23rd anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from British rule to China -- to protest against the legislation in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay, but were met with a heavy security presence. According to other media reports, some 300 people were arrested during the protests.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said that his governmentwill honour its promise to British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders, who could otherwise face imprisonment for acts such as protesting or campaigning under the new law.

National security legislation crucial to stability, order in Hong Kong: Carrie Lam

"Given the large Indian community that makes Hong Kong its home, India has been keeping a close watch on recent developments. We have heard several statements expressing concern on these developments," said Rajiv K Chander, India's ambassador and permanent representative to the UN in Geneva.

He added, "We hope the relevant parties will take into account these views and address them properly, seriously and objectively."

The law dramatically broadens the powers of local and mainland authorities to investigate, prosecute, and punish dissenters. In vague language, it criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign powers. People convicted of such crimes can face sentences of up to life in prison.

Several political and activist groups in the city formally disbanded on Monday in advance of the law being introduced. Shopkeepers tore down posters that supported anti-government protests, and many citizens hastily deleted social media posts and accounts.

How China is cracking down on Hong Kong protesters after passing draconian security law

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