Johnson said BNO passport holders from Hong Kong would be given "further immigration rights, including the right to work, which could place them on a route to citizenship".
"People realized this is a question of what you want to fight for, not a question of what deal you want to make with Beijing", Wang says.
While not being the first to back Beijing, HSBC and Standard Chartered are in a uniquely delicate position.
Major local businesses including Jardine Matheson and billionaire Li Ka-shing have come out in support of China's proposals in recent weeks.
Following talks with officials in Beijing, Miss Lam said China has the same right as Britain and the U.S. to enact legislation protecting its national security and said foreign criticism and threats of sanctions could not be justified.
Hong Kong's Beijing-backed chief executive Carrie Lam, who visited China's capital Wednesday to discus the new security law, dismissed concerns the new legislation would take away residents' freedoms as "totally unsubstantiated".
"The Hong Kong government tried to please or show loyalty to Beijing and ban our gathering even before the national security law comes in".
The joint statement is the third multilateral declaration in the past week condemning Beijing's new national security laws and pushing for global intervention.
"We are afraid this will be the last time we can have a ceremony but Hong Kongers will always remember what happened on June 4", said Brenda Hui, 24, in Mong Kok, where she and a friend stood with a white battery-illuminated umbrella that read "Never Forget June 4".
The reaction highlighted the predicament facing the two banks, based in Britain but with deep roots in China where they are trying to expand when the country's ruling party is clashing with Britain and the United States.
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Alliance Chairman Lee Cheuk-yan and several other members of the Hong Kong Alliance gathered at Victoria Park at 6:30 p.m. (1030 GMT, 6:30 a.m. EDT), dressed in black shirts with the Chinese characters for "truth" emblazoned on the front.
"The U.K. has had no sovereignty, governance or supervision over Hong Kong since its return (to Chinese rule)", Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said in a press conference Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
One former British security official described the decision by HSBC and Standard Chartered as "depressing", adding: "Banks seem to have chose to collude with a Beijing policy that will inevitably lead to the decline of Hong Kong".
Standard Chartered's statement was also lower key than its bigger rival's.
HSBC posted a photo on Chinese social media showing Asia Pacific CEO Peter Wong signing a petition supporting the law's implementation. It's seen as an important marker of Hong Kong's freedoms under the "one country, two systems" model that gives it some autonomy from mainland China.
"We reiterate that we respect and support laws and regulations that will enable Hong Kong to recover and rebuild the economy", it said.
Hong Kong is part of China but enjoys a very distinct and separate status with its own currency, Olympics team, and a seat at the World Trade Organization TIME states.
As anti-government protests engulfed Hong Kong past year, thousands of fans booed loudly and turned their backs when the anthem was played at a World Cup qualifier match against Iran in September. While HSBC had cited inconsistent activity in the account that it closed down, its motives were questioned at a time when it's pushing into China and repairing its relationship with Beijing, having cooperated in the U.S. probe of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
As the tensions continue to boil over in the region, Freeland would not commit to bringing in any specific amount of asylum seekers from Hong Kong.
About 350,000 people in Hong Kong now hold British National (Overseas) passports, which allow visa-free access to Britain for up to six months.
"It is imperative that the worldwide community move rapidly to ensure there is a mechanism for observing and transparent reporting on the impact of the new law on what are now legal freedoms in Hong Kong".