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China Considers Banning Special U.K. Passport Holders
Published on: 2021-01-15
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China is discussing whether to ban Hong Kong residents who hold special U.K. passports from public office, in the latest measure planned to restrict dissent in Hong Kong.
 

The proposal is intended as retaliation against the U.K.’s decision last year to create a pathway to citizenship for the more than 1 million Hong Kong residents who hold British National (Overseas) passports, the newspaper said Thursday, citing people it didn’t identify. Chinese lawmakers were also mulling whether to deny BNO holders the right to vote in the former British colony, although the report said there was disagreement over such a step.
 

The U.K. will begin accepting citizenship applications for as many as 2.9 million BNO-eligible Hong Kong residents Jan. 31 -- a plan London announced after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law in June. Both sides have accused each other of breaching commitments that paved the way for the city’s return to Chinese rule in 1997.
 

Representatives for the Hong Kong government didn’t immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment about the SCMP report.
 

Asked Tuesday about another proposal to punish BNO passport holders, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she was “not aware of certain options” and denied that the local government was discussing any such measures. But she added: “If someone has now unilaterally deviated from the consensus, it would be a matter of course for the other party to take some action."

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