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Hong Kong (Immigration)

Volume 958: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the arrangements between the Governments of Hong Kong and China regarding the question of illegal immigration to Hong Kong.

Would-be illegal immigrants detained while trying to enter Hong Kong are returned to China unless there are exceptional reasons for allowing them to remain in the territory.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many illegal immigrants to Hong Kong have been repatriated to China in each of the past five years.

Repatriation was reintroduced on 30th November 1974, since when the numbers repatriated have been:

1974223
19751,133
1976810
19771,779
1978 (To 31st October)5,045

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the agreement between the Hong Kong and Chinese Governments on legal immigration to Hong Kong on an annual basis.

There is no agreement on the anual number of immigrants from China. However, the Chinese authorities are aware of our concern at the present level of immigration.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many legal immigrants have entered Hong Kong from China in each of the past five years.

The number of legal immigrants entering Hong Kong from China in each year since 1973 is:

197355,659
197432,918
197525,641
197620,453
197726,449
1978 (to 31st October)50,249

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the estimated number of illegal immigrants to enter Hong Kong from China in each of the past five years to the latest available date.

It is impossible to give precise or even estimated figures for the annual number of illegal immigrants into Hong Kong from China. A very rough estimate is that since the beginning of 1974 there have been about 52,000.