China may not recognise U.K.-issued HK passports

China may not recognise U.K.-issued HK passports

Why in News?

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it may decide not to recognise British-issued passports for Hong Kong residents in retaliation for London’s moves to open a path to citizenship for those holding the documents

What really happened?

  • Britain said in May that it would allow holders of such passports extended stays and the possibility of citizenship, prompting thousands of Hong Kongers to rush to renew or apply for them as Beijing steps up restriction on political expression.
  • Differences have sharpened since China in June imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong in response to months of anti-government protests last year.

What is Hong Kong’s ‘Basic Law’?

  • A former British colony, Hong Kong was handed over to mainland China in 1997, becoming one of its Special Administrative Regions.
  • It is governed by a mini-constitution called the Basic Law, which affirms the principle of “one country, two systems”.
  • The constitutional document is a product of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.
  • Under this Declaration, China promised to honour Hong Kong’s liberal policies, system of governance, independent judiciary, and individual freedoms for a period of 50 years from 1997.
  • Since the handover, Hong Kong residents have repeatedly protested to protect their Basic Law freedoms, with the first major pro-democracy protest taking place in 2003.
  • In 2014, over one lakh city residents took part in the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ to protest against China’s denial of democratic reforms.


 



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