State Dept. considers refugee status for some Hongkongers
UPDATED 7:15 AM PT – Wednesday, February 3, 2021
The State Department recently announced the U.S. could provide refugee status to a limited number of Hong Kong dissidents. In an interview Monday, department head Antony Blinken said Hong Kong dissidents are the victims of political persecution by the Chinese Communist Party and the U.S. must help them.
The secretary added, Beijing has violated the 1997 agreement with Britain to uphold the freedoms of Hong Kong and must be held accountable. The U.K. and Australia are accepting all Hong Kong citizens fleeing political repression by Mainland China.
However, Blinken suggested only a limited number of Hongkongers could move to the U.S.
“We see people who are, again, in Hong Kong standing up for their own rights, the rights that they thought were guaranteed to them,” he stated. “And if they are the victims of repression from Chinese authorities, we should do something to give them haven.”
.@SecBlinken recently joined @mitchellreports for a discussion on topics including the protests in Russia, the United States’ relationship with China, and investing in the State Department. https://t.co/tryBZ0jPCp
— Department of State (@StateDept) February 2, 2021
At least five dissidents from Hong Kong have applied for political asylum in the U.S. so far, though their immigration prospects remain unclear.