Thousands of Hong Kong residents are to be offered a temporary ‘safe haven’ in the US. President Joe Biden stated that it was because Hong Kong’s freedoms were being violated by China. Hence he would allow visitors to stay for a period of 18 months. Thousands of Hong Kong residents already in the US may benefit.
The UK has also offered people from Hong Kong a path towards permanent residency following permanent residency following last year’s adoption of China’s security law for territory.
Mr Biden stated that there ‘compelling foreign policy reasons’ to allow Hong Kong visitors to stay. He also stated that China has been ‘undermining its remaining democratic processes and institutions, imposing limits on academic freedom and cracking down on freedom of press.’
China however reacted angrily to the announcement, describing the decision as a gross interference in Hong Kong’s internal affairs. Liu Pengyu, the spokesman for China’s embassy in Washington, criticised the US government’s actions, which he said ‘disregarded and distort facts, and grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs.’ The Chinese foreign minister’s Hong Kong office states the US had engaged in a ‘plot to oppose China and stir up trouble in the city.’