Lord David Alton of Liverpool has called for an “international response” to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s “systematic destruction of Hong Kong’s freedoms”.
While praising the UK on its dedicated package of support for Hong Kong citizens arriving here, the Catholic peer urged all countries to join in with “the lifeboat arrangements” to help those trying to flee the CCP.
“The government deserve congratulations for putting together a comprehensive welcome package for Hong Kongers on arrival in the UK,” Lord Alton told The Catholic Universe.
“ I would like to see other countries – especially other Commonwealth countries – also joining in the lifeboat arrangements to help those trying to flee.
“The systematic destruction of Hong Kong’s freedoms needs to be met by an international response which demonstrates to the Chinese Communist Party the unity and resolve of the free world in responding to the CCP’s totalitarianism.”
Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders and their families who settle in the UK will receive a £43 million dedicated support package, including help to access housing, schools and jobs.
Councils in England, who are already playing a key role to ensure BN(O) status holders are warmly welcomed and supported, will benefit from £30.7 million to provide targeted support for new arrivals, covering English language support and help with housing costs for those who need it.
A further £5 million will be used to establish 12 virtual welcome hubs across every region to co-ordinate support and give practical advice and assistance in applying for school places, registering with GPs and even setting up businesses.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “We are a champion of freedom and democracy and will live up to our responsibilities to the people of Hong Kong, so that these families will come to find the UK a place they can call home.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the scheme reflects the UK’s “commitment to the people of Hong Kong – and those who have now chosen to start a new life here”.
However, Lord Alton insisted that while the UK welcomes those who have escaped the CCP’s totalitarianism, “we must never close our eyes to the millions who will be unable to do so or to the brave pro-democracy campaigners who are now incarcerated in CCP prisons and psychiatric units or arraigned before the courts”.
“Nor should we forget what is happening to Uyghur Muslims facing genocide, to Christians and other minorities who are persecuted, and to lawyers, journalists and dissenters who languish in CCP jails,” he added.
Picture: A man holding a banner reading ‘Chinese communist party is shameless, break the promises’, shouts during a protest against the new national security law in Hong Kong on 1stJuly 2020. (CNS photo/Tyrone Siu, Reuters).