Daily US Times: Thousands of residents of Hong Kong are to be offered a temporary “safe haven” in the United States, President Joe Biden says.
Mr Biden said that because Hong Kong’s freedoms were being violated by China by implementing a highly controversial national security law. The US will now allow visitors from the city to stay for a period of 18 months.
Thousands of Hong Kong residents already in the United States may benefit from the move.
The UK has offered Hong Kong residents a path towards permanent residency following last year’s adoption of the controversial law.
The law criminalises what are deemed to be acts of terrorism, secession, subversion and collusion.
The US president said there were “compelling foreign policy reasons” to allow Hong Kong visitors to stay.
Mr Biden said China had been “undermining its remaining democratic processes and institutions, imposing limits on academic freedom, and cracking down on freedom of the press”.
He pointed to the arrests of over 100 people, including opposition politicians and activists, under the new security regime.
However, a spokesman for China’s embassy in Washington criticised the US government’s decision, which he said “disregard and distort facts, and grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs”.
But Maggie Shum, a researcher in the US, said Hong Kong students who had been left in limbo amid uncertainty about returning to Hong Kong and welcomed Thursday’s news.
She told Reuters News Agency: “I feel elated and welcome this Biden decision to not abandon us – the US did not abandon us.”