A senior adviser to the Hong Kong government warned Monday of chaotic consequences if more than 3 million Hong Kong people are denied the right to settle in Britain after the colony reverts to Chinese rule in 1997.
"It would be very difficult for the British administration to run this place (if the) population is resentful of being deprived of the one thing that would give them confidence," Lydia Dunn, the colony's most senior politician, told a news conference.
Dunn, a member of the Executive Council, which advises Hong Kong's governor, called on Britain to fulfill a "moral obligation and a constitutional responsibility" to the people of Hong Kong. She said confidence in the territory was severely hurt by the bloody suppression of China's pro-democracy movement.
Dunn and senior legislator Allen Lee leave for London next Monday to lobby Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and members of Parliament for what they call an "insurance policy" for the 3.25 million British subjects here.
She said there would not be a mass exodus of Hong Kong people to Britain.
"We know that Hong Kong people do not want to leave Hong Kong. Hong Kong is our home," she said.
Special British passports available to 3.25 million people in Hong Kong do not entitle the holders to live in Britain. The rest of the colony's 6 million people were not born here and are not entitled to any British passport.