Hong Kong - Its past, the current and future - where is it heading?

I suspect all applications from HK will be vetted scrupulously to check for Chinese security forces infiltrators.
I'd bet the NHK Cultural Club is already hoaching with them.
 
Former Hong Kong activists have apparently been arriving in Canada and asking for asylum.
Former Hong Kong activists wait eagerly as Ottawa starts approving asylum claims
The news story puts their numbers at "dozens". At least two have had their claims approved so far.

The New Hong Kong Cultural Club say they have helped submit 30 asylum applications to the Canadian government.

Apparently activists are leaving while they can, because they think they may not be able to later.

This is making the news now, but the activists started leaving last year, but processing of asylum claims have been suspended due to the pandemic.

There's not a lot else in the news story other than background and statements by immigration lawyers.
Asylum? That is ******* laughable. Almost as much so as the USA affording Hong Kongers refugeee status last week
 
Asylum? That is ******* laughable. Almost as much so as the USA affording Hong Kongers refugeee status last week
I expect this is going to be part of the diplomatic game as well. There are strong ties between Canada and Hong Kong due to numerous family connections, and this has political implications domestically.

There are pro-China and anti-China factions in the Chinese community. The ones who don't want to get involved get verbally attacked by one side or the other to try to get them to pick sides. The campaign against Theresa Tam, the head of public health in Canada is a prime example, although it seems to have died down in the past couple of months (or at least the press have stopped reporting on it). She's from Hong Kong originally, then lived in the UK, then moved to Canada. She's stayed out of China politics and has taken flack from the anti-China Chinese as a result (as well as garden variety racism from knuckle draggers among the Conservatives).

There will however be long term problems which go along with these political activists. A good analogy is the Khalistan (Sikh separatist movement) which has many adherents among Sikhs in Canada. The Sikh community is bitterly split between pro-Khalistan and anti-Khalistan factions. They bring the fight into Canadian politics, leading to violence.

I would suggest reading the following, as it is a very sobering example of immigrant politics and the outsized influence it can have on the countries that receive them. The article neglects to mention the great influence that Sikhs had among the Conservatives about 20 years ago, but it followed very similar lines then before the leadership switched political allegiances.
 
Well you should know. Aren't you Colonel Chen from the 'Ministry of State Security' in real life?
Good grief, no. I don't have his connections.
 
China say they will no longer recognise the British National Overseas passport (BNO).
China to stop recognition of British National Overseas passport

China said Friday it will no longer recognize the British National Overseas passport as a valid travel document or form of identification amid a bitter feud with London over a plan to allow millions of Hong Kong residents a route to residency and eventual citizenship.

The UK are scheduled to announce today that they will be taking applications for BNO visas on Sunday. A BNO visa would be a document which would allow BNO passport holders to move to the UK, live and work there, and then apply for citizenship after 5 years.
The announcement by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Friday throws up new uncertainty around the plan just hours after the U.K. said it would begin taking applications for what are called BNO visas beginning late Sunday.

Under the plan, as many as 5.4 million Hong Kong residents could be eligible to live and work in the U.K. for five years then apply for citizenship. Demand soared after Beijing last year imposed a sweeping new national security law on the former British colony following months of pro-democracy protests.

Here's the Chinese statement on their action.
"The British side's attempt to turn a large number of Hong Kong people into second-class British citizens has completely changed the nature of the two sides' original understanding of BNO," Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.

"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. China will no longer recognize the so-called BNO passport as a travel document and proof of identity starting from Jan. 31, and reserves the right to take further measures."

It's not clear though just what the Chinese government can do to prevent Hong Kong BNO holders from entering the UK on a BNO visa. As part of the UK plan, people can download a cellphone app which will send their biometric data to the UK visa office so that they don't have to be seen entering the visa office.
Many Hong Kongers carry multiple passports and it is unclear what if anything the Chinese government could do to prevent people entering the U.K. through the BNO visa plan. As a further protection of personal privacy, a cellphone app will allow applicants to download their biometric information without having to be seen visiting the British visa office.

At this point I don't know if this announcement by Beijing is just a face saving measure, or of they have some other plan for enforcing this. They could prevent Hong Kong residents from leaving Hong Kong on a BNO passport, but many people in Hong Kong have multiple passports anyway. They could for example leave China on a Chinese passport and a regular tourist visa and arrive in the UK on a BNO passport.

I can see that Beijing may use this against particular individuals by cancelling their Chinese passport to prevent them from leaving Hong Kong and then take up a career of anti-Chinese activism in London. I would be surprised however if they were to do this across the board to all BNO passport holders.

What this may result in is more people in Hong Kong decide that it might be best to get while the going is good, and to leave Hong Kong when they might have decided to wait and see if things improve.

Overall this is an interesting development which bears watching.
 
China say they will no longer recognise the British National Overseas passport (BNO).
China to stop recognition of British National Overseas passport



The UK are scheduled to announce today that they will be taking applications for BNO visas on Sunday. A BNO visa would be a document which would allow BNO passport holders to move to the UK, live and work there, and then apply for citizenship after 5 years.


Here's the Chinese statement on their action.


It's not clear though just what the Chinese government can do to prevent Hong Kong BNO holders from entering the UK on a BNO visa. As part of the UK plan, people can download a cellphone app which will send their biometric data to the UK visa office so that they don't have to be seen entering the visa office.


At this point I don't know if this announcement by Beijing is just a face saving measure, or of they have some other plan for enforcing this. They could prevent Hong Kong residents from leaving Hong Kong on a BNO passport, but many people in Hong Kong have multiple passports anyway. They could for example leave China on a Chinese passport and a regular tourist visa and arrive in the UK on a BNO passport.

I can see that Beijing may use this against particular individuals by cancelling their Chinese passport to prevent them from leaving Hong Kong and then take up a career of anti-Chinese activism in London. I would be surprised however if they were to do this across the board to all BNO passport holders.

What this may result in is more people in Hong Kong decide that it might be best to get while the going is good, and to leave Hong Kong when they might have decided to wait and see if things improve.

Overall this is an interesting development which bears watching.
I do not think that we will see a mass exodus, most people have BNO passports as insurance rather than out of any desire to immediately leave, although it will be interesting to hear how many people apply for visas. I have no idea if those visas have a 'use by' date. Certainly though people have been moving some assets out of the country and/or purchasing assets overseas, again as insurance.
 
I do not think that we will see a mass exodus, most people have BNO passports as insurance rather than out of any desire to immediately leave,
Yes, but this development may push some who were sitting on the fence to leave while they can. It's no good having an insurance policy if in future you might be prevented from cashing it in just when you need it most.

although it will be interesting to hear how many people apply for visas. I have no idea if those visas have a 'use by' date.
I won't be surprised if the UK government keep the visa application numbers close to their chest in order to keep Beijing in the dark about how many are leaving and when.

Certainly though people have been moving some assets out of the country and/or purchasing assets overseas, again as insurance.
A fair number of Chinese citizens own property in Canada and have done so for years. Those thinking of leaving may look at shifting even more of their assets out of China to get ahead of any further restrictions.


The thing I don't see is why Beijing would make this move now. I think they would have been better off just ignoring the BNO visa program. All they've accomplished that I can see is to draw attention to it and make themselves look like it is something that worries them. People already emigrate from China (there's a fair number around here), so just because a certain number manage to skip to the head of the line in the UK because of historical reasons shouldn't be something for Beijing to really pay much attention to.

I do have to wonder if they have something else in mind, or if there is some non-obvious aspect to this as to why they've reacted like this. The only thing that really comes to mind is that as I've said, they intend to apply this selectively against certain individuals by cancelling their Chinese passport as well as not recognising their BNO passport and so keeping them firmly under Beijing's thumb.
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
Yes, but this development may push some who were sitting on the fence to leave while they can. It's no good having an insurance policy if in future you might be prevented from cashing it in just when you need it most.


I won't be surprised if the UK government keep the visa application numbers close to their chest in order to keep Beijing in the dark about how many are leaving and when.


A fair number of Chinese citizens own property in Canada and have done so for years. Those thinking of leaving may look at shifting even more of their assets out of China to get ahead of any further restrictions.


The thing I don't see is why Beijing would make this move now. I think they would have been better off just ignoring the BNO visa program. All they've accomplished that I can see is to draw attention to it and make themselves look like it is something that worries them. People already emigrate from China (there's a fair number around here), so just because a certain number manage to skip to the head of the line in the UK because of historical reasons shouldn't be something for Beijing to really pay much attention to.

I do have to wonder if they have something else in mind, or if there is some non-obvious aspect to this as to why they've reacted like this. The only thing that really comes to mind is that as I've said, they intend to apply this selectively against certain individuals by cancelling their Chinese passport as well as not recognising their BNO passport and so keeping them firmly under Beijing's thumb.
There are strong indicators the CCP are acting in the same way as Nazi Germany did to their citizens in the 1930s. The flight of Jews from Germany springs to mind.

For sure the CCP are going to become far more repressive both in China and in Hong Kong in the coming years.
 
Here's a CBC story about Hong Kong residents planning on leaving Hong Kong using the new BNO visa system.
Fearing Beijing crackdown, thousands flee Hong Kong for the U.K.

Much of the article is just quotes from people explaining whey they are leaving, so it's not exactly packed with new info. However, it does mention that 7,000 people have arrived in the UK with BNO status since July and the UK government expect to see around 300,000 over the next five years.
Britain's government said some 7,000 people with British National Overseas (BNO) status have arrived since July. It estimates that over 300,000 people will take up the offer of extended residency rights in the next five years.

One of the persons interviewed said that she left when she did because she was afraid that Beijing will do something to halt emigration from Hong Kong by young professionals.

One recent arrival in London said that if you know when to shut up, you'll be fine in Hong Kong. For himself though, he liked to be able to say anything he wants.
"I think if you knew when to shut up, you'll be OK staying in Hong Kong," said 39-year-old Fan, who also recently arrived in London. Like Cindy, he didn't want to provide his full name. "But I don't want to do that. I can complain about the queen if I wanted to — I can say anything here."

The UK government say that there are 2.9 million people in Hong Kong with BNO status, and they have another 2.3 million dependents. Based on this and the UK government's estimates of how many will arrive over the next 5 years, it sounds like the UK expect less than 6 per cent of eligible people to take up the offer.
 
Here's a CBC story about Hong Kong residents planning on leaving Hong Kong using the new BNO visa system.
Fearing Beijing crackdown, thousands flee Hong Kong for the U.K.

Much of the article is just quotes from people explaining whey they are leaving, so it's not exactly packed with new info. However, it does mention that 7,000 people have arrived in the UK with BNO status since July and the UK government expect to see around 300,000 over the next five years.


One of the persons interviewed said that she left when she did because she was afraid that Beijing will do something to halt emigration from Hong Kong by young professionals.

One recent arrival in London said that if you know when to shut up, you'll be fine in Hong Kong. For himself though, he liked to be able to say anything he wants.


The UK government say that there are 2.9 million people in Hong Kong with BNO status, and they have another 2.3 million dependents. Based on this and the UK government's estimates of how many will arrive over the next 5 years, it sounds like the UK expect less than 6 per cent of eligible people to take up the offer.
While I like Hong Kong Chinese people I think the government could get its fingers badly burned with this. It expects less than 6 per cent of eligible people to take up the offer? Where have we heard this before? Oh yes, 2004 and only 13,000 people from the EU 8 acession countries expected to take advantage of free movement.

People were pretty pro Polish in 2004 but after a million arrived you started to hear negative comments - not from me as I liked the Poles - always have done. It was free movement from Eastern Europe that was the reason for the Brexit vote.
 
It was free movement from Eastern Europe that was the reason for the Brexit vote.
In this case, it's not exactly as if we can vote to separate from Hong Kong.

To be honest, it's hard to see what the UK expects to happen as a result - it's not as if Hong Kong's young professional locals can't readily be replaced and HK was already withering on the vine. If anything, a factor which increases HK's decline relative to the Mainland will help the PRC incorporate it when the time comes; while it's a definite advantage for them to have the potential protest leaders/troublemakers leave of their own accord.
 
While I like Hong Kong Chinese people I think the government could get its fingers badly burned with this. It expects less than 6 per cent of eligible people to take up the offer? Where have we heard this before? Oh yes, 2004 and only 13,000 people from the EU 8 acession countries expected to take advantage of free movement.

People were pretty pro Polish in 2004 but after a million arrived you started to hear negative comments - not from me as I liked the Poles - always have done. It was free movement from Eastern Europe that was the reason for the Brexit vote.
So 1 million Poles out of 38 million move to the UK? That's less than 3 per cent of those eligible, or roughly half the proportion of Hong Kong BNO holders who are expected to take up the offer. That UK estimate may not be so far fetched after all.
 
In this case, it's not exactly as if we can vote to separate from Hong Kong.

To be honest, it's hard to see what the UK expects to happen as a result - it's not as if Hong Kong's young professional locals can't readily be replaced and HK was already withering on the vine. If anything, a factor which increases HK's decline relative to the Mainland will help the PRC incorporate it when the time comes; while it's a definite advantage for them to have the potential protest leaders/troublemakers leave of their own accord.
Actually it's pretty clear from the UK estimates as to what the UK expect to see happen, which is not much. The UK expect that 95 per cent of the eligible BNO holders will stay put in Hong Kong. The UK can then put the legacy of Hong Kong behind them and nobody can say that the UK abandoned its former subjects.
 
It does miss one important point which is that there are HKers who are quite happy to be part of the PRC and vehemently opposed to the 'pro-democracy' camp.

There's a common theme in western press reporting of non-western countries - 'the people of X' is actually a contraction of 'the people of X who support the views we think they ought to.' The people of X who don't are ignored and the people of X who support the opposite are simply airbrushed out of the picture.
 
There hasn't been any flood of Canadian passport holders leaving Hong Kong. There have been a few mentioned in the press who got cold feet after direct involvement in organising protests (or riots, depending on your point of view), but no flood of ordinary people fleeing persecution, despite there being hundreds of thousands of Canadian citizens living there who can hop on a plane at any time and come to Canada.

What there has been in Canada is a political faction among Chinese-Canadians who are very anti-Beijing and won't tolerate other Chinese-Canadians who have no interest in getting involved in Hong Kong or Chinese politics. This is not a subject that I have much interest in following, but there have been several mainstream news reports about this taking place in the Chinese-Canadian ethnic social and print media. Any public figure who just says "I'm a Canadian now and have no interest in getting involved in foreign politics" is condemned as a stooge of Beijing.

Some of this gets lapped up and repeated by knuckle-dragging racists in the non ethnic Chinese majority as validation of their own views. The Conservatives just hoofed one of their MPs from the party for being a bit too racist for their tastes, and he had a record of this sort of thing, among his other faults (it should be to no one's surprise that he had multiple other faults which weighed against him).

The Epoch Times, a US based publication with Falung Gong connections and nebulous sources of funding has been conducting a large and very well financed anti-China propaganda campaign, including ads on Youtube, and sending free copies of their "newspaper" across the country. They follow a pro-Trump, anti-China line of fiction which barely stops short of "the lizard-people are conspiring against us" type propaganda.

Although it is fronted by people of ethnic Chinese background (I don't know who actually funds it), the net effect it has on a good section of its target audience is to stir up hatred against anyone who looks even vaguely slitty-eyed, whether Chinese or not (even Indians and Inuit have been on the receiving end of this when mistaken for being Chinese). This has been enough of a problem that there have been several complaints by letter-carriers about being required to deliver it (they can object to delivering racist material under employment rights laws in Canada). The appropriate tribunal however ruled that as it was a political publication Canada Post were required to deliver it.

I don't want to give the impression that there is widespread racism against Chinese in Canada. There isn't. It does exist however, and it only takes a small number of paranoid nutters to cause a problem.

The main interest that Ottawa has in Hong Kong comes from three sources. One is the historic ties between Canada and Hong Kong, which go back many decades. There is a large ethnic Chinese community in Canada, a large proportion of which either immigrated from Hong Kong or whose family origins are there. Some of them take an interest in politics "back home" and raise this as an issue in Canadian politics. This isn't unique to China, as the farmer protests in India have been taken up by Indian immigrants in Canada and are souring relations between Ottawa and New Delhi.

Another source is there are approximately 300,000 Canadian citizens in Hong Kong, and Ottawa are concerned for both their well-being as well as the headaches that would occur if a significant number of them decided to leave Hong Kong and come o Canada all at once.

A third source is Ottawa's desire to support Whitehall on this issue. Canada and the UK have grown increasingly close in recent years as a by-product of Trump, Brexit, and wider global factors. The UK's continuing interest will draw Canada in regardless of the previously two mentioned issues.

The best result for Canada would be for the whole issue to somehow go away, but I'm not sure that we have any way of influencing such events.
 

endure

GCM
The Epoch Times, a US based publication with Falung Gong connections and nebulous sources of funding has been conducting a large and very well financed anti-China propaganda campaign, including ads on Youtube, and sending free copies of their "newspaper" across the country. They follow a pro-Trump, anti-China line of fiction which barely stops short of "the lizard-people are conspiring against us" type propaganda.

My street had free copies of the Epoch Times through our letterboxes a couple of months ago. I live in the English Midlands.
 
My street had free copies of the Epoch Times through our letterboxes a couple of months ago. I live in the English Midlands.
I've had several copies sent to me as part of a mass delivery. The ones that I have seen are specifically tailored to a Canadian audience, as were the Youtube ads. Someone is going through a lot of effort and expense in this and I do wonder where the funding is coming from. Normal newspapers are struggling to keep afloat, but somehow the Epoch Times have enough money to send out free copies to everyone.
 
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