Britain offers citizenship to 3 million Hong Kong residents after China crackdown

The UK today promised citizenship to 3 million people in Hong Kong, a day after the city was effectively annexed by China. A former British colony established in the 1840s, Hong Kong was returned to Chinese administration in 1997 on the condition that it remain autonomous and democratic for fifty years.

About 350,000 UK passport holders, and 2.6 million others eligible, will be able to come to the UK for five years.

And after a further year, they will be able to apply for citizenship.

British National Overseas Passport holders in Hong Kong were granted special status in the 1980s but currently have restricted rights and are only entitled to visa-free access to the UK for six months.