Millions of residents of Hong Kong are now eligible for UK citizenship

China has imposed a sweeping new security law on Hong Kong that criminalizes secession, subversion of state power, terrorism, and foreign collusion—broad categories that, as Quartz’s Mary Hui writes, are “so vague and subjective as to be almost infinitely applicable.”

Many Hong Kong residents could now move to the UK instead. Britain has been especially vocal about Beijing’s effort to assert its authority over Hong Kong, which was once a British colony. Today, it made its position clearer: Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the UK will give people in Hong Kong who hold a specific kind of passport a pathway to British citizenship.

Hong Kong residents born before the British handover in 1997 are eligible for British National Overseas (BNO) passports, and about 350,000 people currently have one, but the pledge will extend to any Hong Kong resident eligible for a BNO passport, of which there are about 3 million.

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