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BNO issue nothing but hypocritical political manipulation by UK side: Chinese embassy

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-04-14 14:18
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The Chinese national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region fly above the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, China, Aug 5, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

LONDON - Playing up the the issue of the British National Overseas (BNO) passport is nothing but hypocritical political manipulation by the British side, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in London said Tuesday.

The British government recently announced a 43-million-British-pound (59-million-US-dollar) package to facilitate employment and settlement of Hong Kong BNO status holders in Britain.

The position of the Chinese side regarding the issue of BNO status has been made clear to the British side on many occasions, said the spokesperson in a statement.

"China and the UK exchanged an MOU on this issue in which the UK side explicitly promised that BN(O) passport holders who are Chinese citizens residing in Hong Kong shall not have the right of abode in the UK. The UK side is now changing the relevant arrangement unilaterally, which not only goes against its own pledges but also interferes in Hong Kong affairs which are China's internal affairs," said the spokesperson.

The Chinese side expresses its grave concern and firm opposition, has announced that BNO passport is no longer recognized as a valid document for travel or identification, and reserves the right to take further measures, the spokesperson said.

"Playing up the BNO issue and attempting to turn some Hong Kong residents into second-class British 'citizens' are nothing but hypocritical political manipulation that is doomed to failure," said the spokesperson.

The Chinese side urges the British side to wake up to the reality and major trends, and stop such political manipulation, said the spokesperson.

"The UK, with its grave racial discrimination and other social problems, is far from a paradise. It has been brought to our attention that there are many reports about Hong Kong residents being discriminated and living in distress after coming to the UK," said the spokesperson, adding that the Chinese Embassy in Britain has received requests for consular assistance in relation to such cases.

"It is hoped that the UK will focus on solving its own problems, rather than stirring up trouble and misleading the public," said the spokesperson.

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