Beijing announced that it will not recognize the British National Overseas (BNO) passport as a valid document for Hong Kong residents.
(China) “no longer recognizes the so-called BNO passport as a travel document and proof of identity starting from 31 January, and reserves the right to take further measures,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
The BNO was first issued in 1987 after the Hong Kong Act of 1985 and which the UK considered a route to British citizenship.
The UK said that it expected around 300,000 Hong Kong resident to take up their citizenship offer after the National Security Law was passed in the former colony.
“This move seriously infringes on China’s sovereignty, grossly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs, and seriously violates international law and the basic norms of international relations,” said Zhao on the citizenship offer.
UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said that they are powerless if China decides prevents citizens from leaving the country.
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