Colonial Hangover and ‘Invited’ Migration: Hong Kongers to the UK

Published date01 April 2022
Date01 April 2022
Subject MatterResearch Articles
International Studies
59(2) 180 –191, 2022
© 2022 Jawaharlal Nehru University
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00208817221101222
Research Article
Colonial Hangover and
‘Invited’ Migration: Hong
Kongers to the UK
A. K. M. Ahsan Ullah1 and Muhammad Azizuddin2
Protests in Hong Kong over plans to allow extradition from Hong Kong to
mainland China is going on since mid-2019. These reforms are seen as a threat to
Hong Kongers’ freedom. The protesters expanded their demands for democratic
reform and opposition to Beijing’s introduction to a new national security law.
Following the continued protests, the UK government invited over five million
Hong Kong residents to relocate to the country. The purpose of this article is to
delve into why the UK welcomes Hong Kong residents to apply for citizenship.
During the economic impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on the UK, this invitation
raises questions about its intention. Since the Brexit referendum, immigration
has plummeted, perhaps resulting in a labour shortage. This study has significant
policy implications for Hong Kong, China and the UK.
Hong Kong, China, migration by invitation, Brexit, COVID-19, protest
Apart from a period of Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945, Hong Kong was
a British Empire colony and dependent territory from 1841 to 1997 (Smith, 1995).
Only about 7,000 Chinese lived in Hong Kong at the time. After the Second
Opium War in 1860, Hong Kong expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula, and in
1898, Britain gained a 99-year lease of the New Territories (Lau, 1997). With the
lease’s expiration approaching in 1982, British and Chinese leaders discussed the
handover. The British colony of Hong Kong was handed over to the People’s
Republic of China on 1 July 1997. The relationship between China and Hong
2 Coventry University, UK
1 FASS, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, Bander, Brunei
Corresponding author:
A. K. M. Ahsan Ullah, FASS, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, Bander BE1410, Brunei.

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