Hongkongers wanting to leave amid national security law welcome in America, says senior US official, adding that Taiwan should build up military against China

Hongkongers wanting to leave amid national security law welcome in America, says senior US official, adding that Taiwan should build up military against China

Hong Kong residents wishing to leave after the passage of Beijing’s national security law are welcome in the United States, a senior US official said Friday, adding that he hopes China is not an enemy even as it adopts increasingly assertive policies.

Speaking at an event sponsored by the non-partisan Aspen Institute, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien added that “something close to” a genocide of Uygurs was happening in Xinjiang and called on Taiwan to bolster its defences against Chinese bullying.

O’Brien said the door was open for people from the city. “It’d be great if we had more immigrants from Hong Kong. They’re terrific people,” he said, adding that he would rather see them move to Los Angeles or New York than London. “Anyone who’s been to Hong Kong and spent time there, it’s sad what’s going to happen. Hong Kong has been fully absorbed into China.”

Early this month, Washington announced that Hong Kong residents facing persecution would receive special consideration under US immigration law. This follows a similar move by Britain. The security law, which Beijing unveiled in late June, imposes many of the same press, speech and assembly restrictions found on the mainland.