China will "respond strongly" to UK decision to give citizenship to Hong Kong residents

Great Britain's policy of allowing Hong Kong residents to claim British citizenship is a violation of international law and interferes with China’s internal affairs, China’s embassy in London claimed on Thursday.

British Interior Minister Priti Patel said on Wednesday that Hong Kong people with British National Overseas visas would be able to apply for citizenship starting from January 2021.

Britain made that decision, which could allow nearly three million Hong Kong residents to settle in Britain, after Beijing imposed a national security law on the former British colony that democracy activists said would end the freedoms promised in 1997 when the territory was returned to Chinese rule.

Britain insists the law breaches the terms of the handover treaty agreed in 1984. China accuses Britain of interfering in Hong Kong and Chinese affairs and said it would respond strongly if the decision was not reversed, the Chinese embassy said in a statement.

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