China told the UK to "step back from the brink" after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would offer millions of Hong Kong residents the right to move to Britain if China strips away their freedoms.
There is growing alarm in the UK about Beijing's attempt to introduce a law that would punish behavior that it deems an endangerment of Chinese national security in Hong Kong.
The prime minister said he would offer a 12-month extendable visa to all Hong Kong citizens who are eligible to apply for a British national overseas passport — some 3 million people — dramatically escalating the row between Beijing and London.
The UK has also asked Australia, Canada, the US, and New Zealand to give visas to Hong Kong residents who want to flee.
China told Britain to stop "interfering" and that its residency offer would "backfire."