"Explanations" of PRC Nationality Law in Hong Kong

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  1. #1

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    "Explanations" of PRC Nationality Law in Hong Kong

    As I was doing some hardcore research on this topic a little while ago, I found something rather interesting on the HK IMMD website called the "Explanations of some questions by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress concerning the implementation of the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region". It explains how the nationality law will apply in HK, which is different than the rest of China.

    The first article in English states this:
    Where a Hong Kong resident is of Chinese descent and was born in the Chinese territories (including Hong Kong), or where a person satisfies the criteria laid down in the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China for having Chinese nationality, he is a Chinese national.

    But the same article in Chinese states this:
    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ( ? ? ? ) ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    A literal translation of "? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?", would say mean that anyone of Chinese bloodline (or perhaps ethnic Chinese) born in Hong Kong would be a Chinese citizen. Being a Chinese citizen would mean you'd have perpetual ROA in HK.

    Since this is a PRC law, only the Chinese text has legal effect. I'm just a bit curious in what this means.

    Would this mean that if say an ethnic Chinese from Malaysia, having a child born in Hong Kong, the child would be a Chinese citizen? Because the explanations says that anyone that is of Chinese bloodline born in Hong Kong will be regarded as Chinese.

    Any ideas? I wonder if I'm the only one that has looked into this so deeply...

    The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - Immigration Department


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    The whole race-based thing is totally unsustainable in the long run - how do you judge how Chinese someone is? Does one great-great-grandparent from, say, Portugal mean that you aren't Chinese?


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    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM
    The whole race-based thing is totally unsustainable in the long run - how do you judge how Chinese someone is? Does one great-great-grandparent from, say, Portugal mean that you aren't Chinese?
    Agree with you there. It is unsustainable in the long run. That is why HK has so many Right To Stay issues from people living in china and have a child here in HK.

    I think the reason they made this legislation is largely due to the huge amount of HK people leaving HK before 1997. I assume what they what to do is to allow people of HK whom left HK before 1997 a chance to come back and contribute to HKs development and to show that the communist government is open minded about these issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hairball
    A literal translation of "? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?", would say mean that anyone of Chinese bloodline (or perhaps ethnic Chinese) born in Hong Kong would be a Chinese citizen. Being a Chinese citizen would mean you'd have perpetual ROA in HK.
    I guess you may have misread it.
    It only defines what Chinese national means. However Chinese nationals do not have the ROA in HK automatically unless they are born in HK or their parents are HK permenant residents (that's why HK is called SAR).

    But I can tell you what, all the terms bascially telling you one thing, one simple thing - if they think you're a Chinese, then you're a Chinese!

    BTW, did you read the term 3?

    According to the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China, the British Citizenship acquired by Chinese nationals in Hong Kong through the "British Nationality Selection Scheme" will not be recognised. They are still Chinese nationals and will not be entitled to British consular protection in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and other parts of the People's Republic of China.

    So these poor HKers who spent the time and money to get the British Citizenship and thought they would be protected by the UK government in CHINA should feel a bit stupid now? If the big brother wants to kick your ass, they will and always can kick your ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xxxlionxxx
    I guess you may have misread it.
    It only defines what Chinese national means. However Chinese nationals do not have the ROA in HK automatically unless they are born in HK or their parents are HK permenant residents (that's why HK is called SAR).

    But I can tell you what, all the terms bascially telling you one thing, one simple thing - if they think you're a Chinese, then you're a Chinese!

    BTW, did you read the term 3?

    According to the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China, the British Citizenship acquired by Chinese nationals in Hong Kong through the "British Nationality Selection Scheme" will not be recognised. They are still Chinese nationals and will not be entitled to British consular protection in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and other parts of the People's Republic of China.

    So these poor HKers who spent the time and money to get the British Citizenship and thought they would be protected by the UK government in CHINA should feel a bit stupid now? If the big brother wants to kick your ass, they will and always can kick your ass.
    I was merely just commenting on the "race-based" definition of Chinese born in Hong Kong. I just thought it was interesting how it was described.

    I wonder in theory, if I have children born in Hong Kong, and they "look" Chinese, then they might be Chinese citizens and have ROA there, despite the fact that I'm considered non-Chinese and only have RTL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xxxlionxxx

    BTW, did you read the term 3?

    According to the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China, the British Citizenship acquired by Chinese nationals in Hong Kong through the "British Nationality Selection Scheme" will not be recognised. They are still Chinese nationals and will not be entitled to British consular protection in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and other parts of the People's Republic of China.

    So these poor HKers who spent the time and money to get the British Citizenship and thought they would be protected by the UK government in CHINA should feel a bit stupid now? If the big brother wants to kick your ass, they will and always can kick your ass.

    Not quite. Someone who obtained their British Citizenship under that scheme never had to live in the United Kingdom or go through the process of naturalisation. The purpose of that scheme was to keep certain key individuals in Hong Kong so that they won't leave after the handover. They were given a special grant of British Citizenship which did not require them to even step foot in the UK.

    This law doesn't apply to Chinese Hong Kong residents who obtained their British Citizenship by naturalisation or by registration in the United Kingdom if they have lived there for five years as a CUKC before 1983. These Hong Kong residents with British Citizenship are eligible to declare a change of nationality through the IMMD which will allow them to have access to British consular service in the HKSAR/MSAR and Mainland China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hairball

    Would this mean that if say an ethnic Chinese from Malaysia, having a child born in Hong Kong, the child would be a Chinese citizen? Because the explanations says that anyone that is of Chinese bloodline born in Hong Kong will be regarded as Chinese.

    Any ideas? I wonder if I'm the only one that has looked into this so deeply...
    That can't be the case in Hong Kong anyways. There were many ethnic Chinese from Vietnam who fled to Hong Kong in the sixties and seventies during the war. I doubt they were treated any differently to any of the other regugees at that time as far as immigration was concerned. Many were sent to other countries like Australia and Canada. I've read that there are only about 1000 of these refugees left in Hong Kong on the IMMD website.

    Perhaps it might apply in the PRC somehow because I have read that almost all the immigration to China comes from overseas Chinese from countries like Vietnam, Indonesia etc.

    According to Chinese nationality law a foreign national can naturalise as Chinese if they fullfill one of these conditions:

    1)they are near relatives of Chinese nationals;
    2)they have settled in China; or
    3)they have other legitimate reasons.

    Perhaps they can use the third one to naturalise as Chinese if they are refugees and can satisfy the immigration officials that they are of Chinese lineage.

    On Article 89 section 12 of the Chinese constitution, it also states the PRC does protect the lawful rights and interests of overseas returned Chinese.

    CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
    Last edited by Aritaurus; 11-07-2008 at 01:47 PM.

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    That's a very detailed reply Aritaurus!
    So I was just wondering, those who obtained their British Citizenship under that scheme would never be protected by the UK if they live in China, right? So what was the point in the first place?

    BTW, how about those who have gone through the naturalisation after 1983?

    And Hairball, to a certain extent, your assumption is right. Coz the IMMD or the HK Government has the final say to deny or accept anyone to live in HK as a permanent resident.

    Not only you find this interesting, so do many others. The most interesting thing is only a tiny little part of the population could understand what this government writes or says.


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    Hey xxxlionxxx, I'm glad that you're interested in this topic.

    Well, the British Citizenship obtained under that scheme is a full British Citizenship so they have the Right of Abode in the United Kingdom and they are also citizens of the European Union. The only thing is that the PRC doesn't recognise this citizenship so they're not allowed to renounce their PRC Citizenship and be souly British Citizens while in Hong Kong. These people are free from all immigration control in the United Kingdom and the EEA so they are free to leave Hong Kong to settle over there whenever they wish. Most though, end up staying in Hong Kong but they may send their kids to the UK for school. Having a British Citizen passport is also more favourable compared to having an HKSAR passport or a BN(O) passport since they can go more places without a visa - the US is one example.

    Only 50,000 principle applicants were accepted and also their immediate family members could also register. At most, maybe 200,000 individuals obtained British Citizenship through this scheme. Everyone else who obtained their British Citizenship through birth, naturalisation , registration, adoption etc in the UK is not affected by this law.

    All Chinese Hong Kong residents who hold foreign nationality are not entitled to consular service in the PRC or the SARs unless they renounce their PRC Citizenship by making a declaration to the IMMD. This option is not available to those who obtained their British Citizenship through this scheme. That's bascially the only difference.

    Last edited by Aritaurus; 12-07-2008 at 12:58 AM.

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    I don't see how the option cannot be available: a country can refuse to grant me citizenship, but there's no way in which it can meaningfully reject my renunciation of it. All they could do is refuse entry to China to those who had renounced citizenship in this way. That would be similar to the way that the US tries to tax people all over the world who have renounced US citizenship. They can't actually do it, but they can effectively block these people from ever entering the USA again.


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