- China had slammed the intervention of the British government on the Hong Kong protests against the controversial extradition bill.
- British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam that there is an urgent need to probe into the recent demonstrations in the former British colony.
- The Chinese foreign ministry, on the other hand, said that it is “wrong” for the British government to call Lam only to exert pressure, as the UK has no sovereignty over Hong Kong anymore.
Residents of Whampoa join protesters outside the MTR station and shout at police after one protester was arrested on Saturday. Photo from The Guardian (Billy HC Kwok/Getty Images)
China warned United Kingdom to stop “meddling” in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, after its foreign minister called the international financial hub’s leader to voice concern about protests that have been going on in the city for two months.
On Friday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam in a phone conversation that there is an urgent need for a “fully independent investigation into recent events,” prompting a furious response from Beijing.
“China solemnly demands that the British side immediately stop all actions that meddle in Hong Kong affairs and interfere in China’s internal affairs,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in a statement Saturday.
Photo from Reuters (Tyrone Siu)
“It is simply wrong for the British government to directly call Hong Kong’s Chief Executive to exert pressure,” she added, noting that the UK has no jurisdiction over Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, a UK foreign office spokesperson said: “The foreign secretary underlined the strength of the relationship between the UK and Hong Kong, noting our support for Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy as provided for in the joint declaration and our commitment to the principle of ‘one country, two systems’.
“The foreign secretary condemned violent acts by all sides but emphasized the right to peaceful protest, noting that hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people had chosen this route to express their views.”
Tensions remain high in the city after two months of protests and clashes triggered by opposition to the controversial extradition law that had evolved into a wider movement demanding electoral reforms.
A total of 420 people have been arrested since rallies began on June 9, according to Hong Kong police in early August, according to reports.