The US president justified the move by highlighting the “significant erosion” of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong. President Joe Biden commented: “The United States supports the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the residents of Hong Kong.”
He continued: “Recognizing the significant erosion of those rights and freedoms in Hong Kong by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), I am directing the deferral of removal of certain Hong Kong residents who are present in the United States.”
The history of Hong Kong is complex, once a former British territory, it returned to China’s control in 1997.
In recent years there has been a restriction of freedoms in Hong Kong after the passing of a national security law by the Chinese government last year.
Biden’s recent remarks highlighted the anti-regime politicians and activists imprisoned, with police taking into custody 100 of them.
Police have also arrested more than 10,000 people associated with the anti-government protests.
China’s intervention occurred in reaction to anti-government protests which started in Hong Kong in 2019.
Biden commented: “Offering safe haven for Hong Kong residents who have been deprived of their guaranteed freedoms in Hong Kong furthers United States interests in the region.”
He added: “The United States will not waiver in our support of people in Hong Kong.”
The Senator for Nebraska said: “We need to offer full asylum to Hong Kongers who flee Chairman Xi’s brutal oppression.”