China asks Hong Kong consulates to submit info on local staff

8 months ago 70

HONG KONG - China has asked consulates in Hong Kong to submit information on locally hired employees, including their home addresses, a move giving Beijing stepped up oversight of the city. 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry wants the missions to provide a copy of local employees’ ID cards and details including job titles, employment start date, permanent residency status and visa information, according to a letter and form sent to consulates in Hong Kong on Monday and seen by Bloomberg News.

The documents tell missions to comply with the request by Oct 18 and submit information on new staff within 15 days of their first day. The form also indicates the personal data provided can be shared with other bureaus and departments.

The Hong Kong Free Press reported earlier on the letter. Representatives from the Hong Kong government and China’s Foreign Ministry based in the city did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other nations ask missions for similar information about locals they employ, and embassies on the mainland must hire Chinese nationals through a government-controlled agency.

Still, the move by China appears to be in step with its focus on national security in the financial hub.

Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in mid-2020 in response to mass protests against the government.

In 2019, the UK summoned the Chinese ambassador after a former employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong said he was beaten for information about protesters while detained on the mainland.

China criticised then-Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and warned that interference in its affairs “will eventually harm UK interests.”

This summer, Hong Kong officials placed

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