China’s International Ministry has requested all overseas consulates in Hong Kong to offer the private particulars of their domestically employed employees, as Beijing tightens its management over the semi-autonomous metropolis
ByKANIS LEUNG Related Press and ZEN SOO Related Press
September 19, 2023, 6:34 AM
HONG KONG — China’s International Ministry has requested all overseas consulates in Hong Kong to offer the private particulars of their domestically employed employees, as Beijing tightens its management over the semi-autonomous metropolis.
The Commissioner’s Workplace of the International Ministry, in a letter seen by The Related Press, requested the consulates to offer staffers’ names, job titles, residential addresses, identification card numbers and journey doc numbers “consistent with the Vienna Conference on Consular Relations and normal worldwide observe.”
The letter, dated Monday and addressed to all consulate posts and the Workplace of the European Union, said that they need to adjust to the request by Oct. 18, and that the small print of staffers who’re employed sooner or later needs to be furnished inside 15 days.
It wasn’t clear whether or not China furnishes particulars of its employees in overseas missions to different nations.
The request comes as Beijing has tightened management over Hong Kong lately following its imposition of a sweeping nationwide safety regulation aimed toward stamping out dissent.
Governments within the West have criticized the regulation as a dismantling of Hong Kong’s political freedoms and civil society. Chinese language and Hong Kong authorities say the regulation is important to take care of stability within the metropolis, which skilled months of anti-government protests in 2019.
The U.S. and British consulates in Hong Kong and the Workplace of the European Union didn’t instantly touch upon the request. China’s International Ministry additionally didn’t reply to questions in regards to the letter.
An area consular staffer, who spoke on situation of anonymity because of worry of retaliation, mentioned their supervisor had promised that their private particulars wouldn’t be submitted with out their consent. The staffer mentioned there are considerations about how such particulars, if submitted, can be used and whether or not they would have an effect on their households and their very own immigration procedures.
Final yr, a Monetary Occasions report mentioned China’s International Ministry had requested for the ground plans of overseas missions and employees homes within the metropolis.
In February, the ministry accused U.S. Consul Basic Gregory Could of interfering within the metropolis’s affairs after he mentioned in a video handle that the town’s freedoms had been being eroded.