London's decision, which could allow almost three million Hong Kong residents to settle in Britain, came after Beijing imposed a new security law that democracy activists fear would end the freedoms promised to the territory in 1997.
This week, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong " immediately and indefinitely". Still not clear how to apply the new law on national security.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the decision on Hong Kong to MPs on Monday. It also allows suspects to be transferred to mainland China for prosecution. "It will also mean a ban on the export of any equipment, not already banned, which might be used for internal repression", he added. The HKSAR government's Immigration Department has issued almost 6 million HKSAR passports which are still within their validity period to facilitate the travelling of relevant persons in Hong Kong, added the spokesman.
The government on Wednesday released the details of a new route for eligible Hongkongers to obtain citizenship.
Wong said Canada's strong connections to Hong Kong - almost 300,000 ex-pat Canadians live in Hong Kong and Canada has the second largest Hong Kong diaspora after the USA - and its familiarity as an English-speaking Commonwealth country with good education systems and economic opportunity make it a popular choice for Hong Kong residents.
"The United Kingdom has explicitly pledged that BNO passport holders who are Chinese citizens residing in Hong Kong shall not have the right of abode in the U.K.", a spokesperson at the Chinese Embassy in London said in a statement earlier Thursday.
China strongly condemns US requirement to close Chinese consulate in Houston
But if China closed the American mission in Wuhan as retaliation, Carafano said that the blow to the US would be much smaller. Foreign diplomatic missions operate under legal immunities accorded by global law and may not be entered without permission.
Critics say the law, which wasn't revealed to the public until after it was passed, marks an erosion of the former British colony's precious civil and political freedoms; the Chinese and local governments argue it's necessary to curb unrest and uphold mainland sovereignty.
"There is a balance here", Johnson added.
The new security law, enacted just ahead of the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong becoming a special administrative region of China, criminalizes subversive, secessionist or terrorist activities and collusion with foreign forces to intervene in the city's affairs.
"This seriously goes against its own promises, interfered in China's internal affairs, and violated global law and the basic norms governing worldwide relations", the spokesperson said, vowing that China will take "effective countermeasures".
He also warned that China would "firmly fight back in response to acts that interfere in China's domestic affairs".