Canada’s new immigration program for Hong Kong residents comes amid strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing.
Canada has announced a new program that will make it easier for young Hong Kong residents in the country to work, study and live, a move that is likely to further strain relations between Ottawa and Beijing.
At a news conference on Thursday, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said Hong Kong residents who have completed secondary education within the last five years will be able to apply for an open work permit in Canada.
Mendicino said that already Canadian residents who meet certain criteria, including at least one year’s work experience in the country, will also be able to apply for permanent residency.
“As Hong Kong daily life continues under a cloud of uncertainty, we have a unique opportunity to appeal to the hopes and aspirations of those who can well cast their eyes overseas and help Canada live, work and Seeing as a place to see. As generations go before them, “he told reporters.
Today, I announced a new immigration initiative that will attract students and youth from Hong Kong to Canada by providing a new open work permit and expanding their paths to permanent residency.https://t.co/AfXkSAvSmG
– Marco Mendicino (@marcomendicino) November 12, 2020
Senior Canadian government officials criticized China this week after four pro-democracy legislators were disqualified from the Hong Kong legislature.
His expulsion came after the Chinese parliament adopted a resolution calling for the city government to go through courts to expel legislators who supported Hong Kong’s independence, collude with foreign forces or jeopardize national security. did not allow.
The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has continued since the Comprehensive National Security Act was enacted in Beijing this year.
China defended the removal of legislators, saying they had committed “acts of betrayal”.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a regular news briefing in Beijing on Thursday, “No country has turned a blind eye to acts of betrayal of the country by public officials.”
But Canada, as well as the United Kingdom, have said that the expulsion of legislators violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a “one country, two systems” deal that guarantees Hong Kong’s autonomy.
“Such actions demonstrate a clear disregard for the Basic Law and the consequent effect of the abolition of human rights in Hong Kong. At this time of trial, Canada will stand in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, ”Mendicino said.
Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne also slammed China for its decision, saying on Wednesday that Canada was “deeply disappointed that China has chosen to break its international obligations”.
In this time of trial, Canada will stand in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong.
There was already tension in the relationship between Canada and China between the comments.
The countries’ ties have been tested since December 2018, when Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wenzhou, an executive with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, on an extradition requested by the United States.
Two Canadians – former diplomat Michael Kovrug and businessman Michael Powers – were arrested in China shortly thereafter and charged with espionage.
China has accused Canada of focusing on its internal affairs after Canadian authorities criticized Beijing’s human rights record in Hong Kong, as well as its treatment of the Uygur Muslim minority.
Last month, a Chinese government spokesman rejected a Canadian parliamentary committee report accusing Beijing of committing genocide against the Uygars.
“It is an intervention in China’s internal affairs and reflects the ignorance and prejudice of those Canadian individuals,” said Zhao Lijian.