Thousands flee Hong Kong for UK, fearing China crackdown

Thousands flee Hong Kong for UK, fearing China crackdown
In this July 7, 2019, file photo, thousands of protesters carrying the British flag march near the harbor of Hong Kong. Source: APIn this July 7, 2019, file photo, thousands of protesters carrying the British flag march near the harbor of Hong Kong. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: Many people in Hong Kong are decided to leave the city for Britain amid fear of the Chinese crackdown. One of them is Cindy. She had a comfortable lifestyle in Hong Kong as she owned several properties with her husband and had a good business going. But last year she decided to leave it all behind and move her family to Britain, and not even a global coronavirus pandemic was going to sway her decision.

Last week, Cindy landed in London. She is one of thousands of Hong Kongers fleeing their hometown since China has imposed a draconian national security law on the territory last summer.

Some are leaving because they fear punishment and crackdown from Hong Kong authorities for supporting pro-democracy protests. But many others, like her, say China’s encroachment on their civil liberties and way of life has become unbearable, and they want to seek a better future for their children abroad. Most say they do not plan to ever go back.

Many firmed up their exit plans after the UK government announced in July that it would open a special immigration pathway for up to 5 million eligible Hong Kongers to live, work and eventually settle in the country.

This week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the offer shows Britain is honoring its “profound ties of history” with Hong Kong, a former British colony that reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

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