'We are British!' Hong Kong residents 'don't accept China' and plead for UK help
HONG KONG residents with British passports have protested in Westminster as hundreds and thousands of protesters demonstrate following weeks of rising political animosity in the region.
By DARREN HUNT
PUBLISHED: 11:01, Tue, Jul 2, 2019 | UPDATED: 17:33, Tue, Jul 2, 2019
Hundreds and thousands of residents in Hong Kong have been demonstrating over a controversial extradition law, which protesters fear could be used to force Hong Kong residents to be extradited to China for trial. Demonstrators from Hong Kong, who hold British passports, have demonstrated in Westminster in anger at “Chinese nationality acting over our status”. Campaigner Samsom Ling said: “We were born in Hong Kong before 1997, so our only nationality is British.
“We don’t accept Chinese nationality acting over our status. We are British.”
Hong Kong is a former British colony in southeastern China, and was transferred to China in 1997.
Hong Kong operates under a system of “One Country, Two Systems” which allows the territory to retain a separate political, economic and legal system to mainland China.
Despite the controversial proposed bill being suspended, many still believe it is a threat to Hong Kong’s judicial system.
Demonstrators argue the Hong Kong government is not responding to their demands for a full withdrawal of contentious extradition legislation.
Steve Double, a Conservative MP, said he would take the petition from the campaigners in Westminster and try to place it in front of Parliament.
He said: “I think now is very much an opportune moment if ever there was an opportunity to make the case it is now.
“Both with events happening here in the UK as we are planning to leave the European Union. We are reviewing our immigration policy.
“Clearly, with ongoing events in Hong Kong, even the events that have happened today.
“I think there is a very clear message the UK needs to play to the full its responsibility that it does have for British overseas passport holders who are in Hong Kong and make sure we are doing everything we can to protect their rights there.”
Karl Lee, a protester, added: “Bearing in mind there are so many things happening in Hong Kong, we think human rights, press freedoms, freedom of speech, are all under threat basically.
“That is why many of us are thinking of relocating.”
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