In a series of moves against the Hong Kongers, China on Friday vehemently opposed to recognise British National Overseas (BNO) passport as a valid document for travel and identification starting from January 31.
The move comes hours after the British authorities announced details of the application process for the the new BNO visas. The visa application will open on Sunday. The announcement was made by Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
Addressing a press briefing Zhao said, “Britain has ignored the fact that Hong Kong has already been returned to China for 24 years.”
He also accused London of ignoring Beijing’s “strong stance” against the new BNO policy and added that Hong Kongers would be turned into “second-class citizens”.
Beijing has also warned of taking action against Britain’s offer of a pathway to citizenship to 5.4 million eligible Hong Kongers.
The announcement from Beijing adds to its series of move to exercise tighter control over the island, which was returned to China in 1997 on a promise that its autonomy would be maintained.
China’s crackdown against the pro-democracy movement by the Hong Kongers was strong critised by the world leaders, with the British government offering millions of BNO holders a pathway for the full UK citizenship, within six years.
Britain had announced that at least 300,000 Hong Kongers are expected to take up the offer.