A letter from the Hong Kong government informed several foreign consulates that it no longer considers the British National Overseas Passport (BNO) to be a valid document as of January of this year. They demanded that a Hong Kong passport be used instead.
They said, “Most countries will ignore this.
“It’s the Hong Kong government that’s just trying this.
“They have no right to tell any state which foreign passports it can recognize. ”
While China will no longer recognize BNO passports, officials in Japan, South Korea, Italy and New Zealand have confirmed they will always do so.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said it had not received the letter, while Hungary said so.
The United States said the BNO remains valid for visa issuance and travel within the country.
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Mr Johnson said: “I am extremely proud that we have set this new path for the Hong Kong NOUs to live, work and settle in our country.
“In doing so, we honored our deep ties of history and friendship with the people of Hong Kong, and we stood up for freedom and self-reliance – values dear to the UK and Hong Kong. ”
However, the system sparked a bitter row after China’s Foreign Ministry said it would no longer recognize the BNO passport.
He said: “The British side ignored the fact that Hong Kong returned to China 24 years ago. ”
The former British colony has retained its autonomy from Beijing since 1997, when the UK returned Hong Kong to mainland China.
BNO status was created before the UK returned Hong Kong to mainland China.
The UK and China agreed to introduce “one country, two systems”, meaning that rights such as freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of the press would be protected.
According to the BBC, the agreement signed in 1984 was to last until 2047.