The authorities are preventing Hongkongers moving to the UK from cashing in their retirement savings early – a longstanding right for people leaving town permanently. The reasoning (that the Hong Kong government doesn’t recognize BNO passports, so therefore the departees can’t claim overseas residency) is obviously absurd. Is there some way (UK government action?) to pressure HSBC and other MPF providers with UK operations to release emigres’ savings now and reclaim the money when those clients turn 65?
There’s an interesting debate about whether the CCP wants malcontents to leave Hong Kong or (perhaps for reasons of face) would prefer them to stay. Beijing’s post-1997 immigration policies make clear that dilution or displacement of the local population is an underlying strategy, and the recent NatSec regime couldn’t be better designed to drive people out. But the UK’s granting of residency to BNO holders obviously touches a raw nerve: Chinese people are the emperor’s property.
Facebook, Twitter and Google could quit Hong Kong if the NatSec regime makes their employees liable under revised privacy laws aimed at curbing ‘doxxing’ of police and other officials (link to original WSJ scoop here).
Internet companies generally comply with such rules in other jurisdictions – but the laws are proportionate, and these are typically countries with rule of law and accountable governments. Police states, on the other hand, don’t allow Western social media sites in the first place. Which is Hong Kong?
And Hong Kong officials claimed a few months back that real-name registration of SIM cards was now suddenly necessary to fight ordinary commercial crime. But Beijing’s guy doesn’t bother with the lame fibs. It’s a NatSec regime thing. But you knew that.