Chinese embassy denounces Britain's BNO visa

The Chinese embassy on Tuesday denounced the British government over its British National Overseas (BNO) visa, calling it interference in China's internal affairs.

The British Home Office announced on Monday that it "launched (an) express service for BNO visas within five working days" from Monday at the cost of 500 pounds ($637).

Under the scheme BNO passport holders can apply for permanent residency after living in the UK for five years and after a further year apply for British citizenship.

A Chinese embassy spokesperson said Britain was not trying to "protect" the people of Hong Kong as they described, but to defame and discredit Hong Kong.

The spokesperson pointed out that some Hong Kong people, after arriving in the Britain, have suffered from poverty in life and discrimination in society.

"We urge the British side to stop their hypercritical performances and misleading the people of Hong Kong, and stop their gross interference into China's internal affairs," the spokesperson said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced in early 2021 that the country will no longer recognize the BNO passport and visa as a legal travel document and ID document starting from January 31 that year, adding that it reserves the right to take further actions.

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