Chinese tabloid Global Times has suggested that the Hong Kong government should set up a way for those who advocate for Hong Kong’s independence to give up their Hong Kong passports, so that they lose their Chinese citizenship.

In an “expert opinion piece”, Zhang Li, who claimed to be a Hong Kong media worker, said that the Hong Kong independence movement has been annoying, not influential, and that it must be dealt with.

Zhang said that these independence advocates were asking the Central Government to take away their Chinese nationality, as they claimed to be Hong Kong people and not Chinese.

The former Hong Kong flag seen at a protest. Photo: HKFP.

When Hong Kong people have an accident overseas they can seek help from Chinese embassies as they are Chinese citizens, Zhang said. Given this, he suggested those who support Hong Kong independence should be required to sign a waiver agreeing not to request help from Chinese government departments if they have an accident.

“If the ‘Hong Kong independence’ advocates are shouting day and night about how much they want to leave the motherland’s family, the HKSAR government should do as they wish and set up a way for the ‘Hong Kong independence’ advocates to give up their Chinese passports, including HKSAR passports, and their home return permits,” Zhang said.

“Without Chinese citizenship, these people would not have the identity or rights of a Hong Kong permanent resident, and they won’t enjoy the social welfare and resources of Hong Kong people,” he added.

Photo: HKFP.

‘Becoming British’
However, even if a Hong Kong person gives up their HKSAR passport, they will not lose their Hong Kong permanent resident status.

Political commentator Max Wong Wai-lun said on his Facebook page that there are about three million people who have a British National (Overseas) passport (BNO) in Hong Kong, which is considered a travel document by the Chinese government, but a nationality document by the British government.

“If all the BNO holders in Hong Kong support Hong Kong independence, and the Chinese nationalities of three million Hong Kong people are cancelled, then they will be British in terms of nationality,” Wong said.

“That would mean half of the Hong Kong population will be British, and protected by the British consulate general,” Wong added.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.