China said on Friday that it would not recognize the British National Overseas (BNO) passport as a valid travel document or for identification starting from January 31.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was speaking at a regular news briefing. Beijing's move to impose a national security law in June last year prompted Britain to offer refuge to almost 3 million Hong Kong residents eligible for BNO passport from January 31.
"From January 31, China will no longer recognise the so-called BNO passport as a travel document and ID document, and reserves the right to take further actions,'' the ministry said.
Despite the fact that it has been 24 years since Hong Kong returned to the motherland, the UK has blatantly broken its commitment by introducing the BNO policy, which attempts to turn a large number of HK people into "second-class" British citizens, the ministry said.
Applications for Hong Kong residents to live and work in the UK under an historic immigration scheme for British National Overseas, opens this Sunday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
said in a statemenet earlier, Friday: “I am immensely proud that we have brought in this new route for Hong Kong BN(O)s to live, work and make their home in our country.
“In doing so we have honored our profound ties of history and friendship with the people of Hong Kong, and we have stood up for freedom and autonomy – values both the UK and Hong Kong hold dear.”-Reuters/The Standard