US President Joe Biden signed a decree on Thursday granting the right of temporary asylum in the United States to certain categories of Hong Kong residents who, according to the US administration, may face persecution by the Chinese authorities, the White House said.
“Today, President Joseph R. Biden signed a memorandum ordering to postpone the expulsion of certain Hong Kong residents who are in the United States and to grant them temporary asylum,” the press release said.
Biden ordered the Department of Homeland Security to postpone for a year and a half the expulsion of any Hong Kong resident who is in the United States on the date of signing the memorandum. The list of exceptions includes persons who want to voluntarily return to their homeland, who have committed a crime or at least two offenses in the United States, and those whose stay may have “serious negative foreign policy consequences” for the United States.
Biden also ordered to provide Hong Kongers with employment opportunities in the United States.
According to the White House, the decision demonstrates the support of the people of Hong Kong in the face of “ongoing repression by the People’s Republic of China.” It makes it clear that the United States will not remain indifferent to China’s violation of its international promises.
China rejects US accusations of attempts to unilaterally restrict the autonomy of Hong Kong and encroachments on the civil rights of the population of the former British colony.