A new British policy that allows residents of Hong Kong to claim British citizenship violates international law and affects China's domestic affairs, the Chinese embassy in London said Thursday.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Wednesday that people with Hong Kong status in British National Overseas or BN (O) could apply for a special visa for life in the UK, which could potentially lead to citizenship from January 2021.
The UK made this decision, although the resistance from Beijing and China would react strongly if it were not reversed, the Chinese embassy said in a statement.
The move "seriously injured Britain's own commitments, seriously affected China's internal affairs and seriously violated international law and the basic norms of international relations," the move said.
London's decision, which could allow nearly three million Hong Kong residents to settle in Britain, came after Beijing imposed new security laws on the former British colony, which democracy activists said would end the freedoms promised in 1997 when the territory ceased to exist Chinese rule was established.
The British Consulate General of Hong Kong said in a press release on Thursday that the immigration route gives BN (O) citizens the right to live, work or study in the UK, and "after the Chinese government decided to launch a new national one." To impose security is the "Hong Kong Law".
Britain says the law violates the provisions of the 1984 handover contract. China accuses Britain of interfering in Hong Kong and Chinese affairs.
"The Chinese side urges the British side to recognize the reality that Hong Kong has returned to China, to objectively review the Hong Kong national security law, and to correct its mistakes immediately," the embassy said.
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