China tells US, UK not to meddle in Hong Kong’s affairs

Naming Britain and the US, China said it firmly opposes any interference by countries in the internal affairs of Hong Kong, agencies reported citing a foreign ministry spokesman on Tuesday.

Beijing’s warning came after US President Donald Trump and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressed support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters who stormed the parliament late on Monday. 

Geng Shuang, above, deputy director, foreign ministry information department, said the vandalism inside the Legislative Council (LegCo) complex constituted serious violation of the rule of law and threatened the special administrative region’s (SAR) social order.

China strongly condemns the unprecedented violence and firmly supports the Hong Kong government in dealing with the incident in accordance with law, Geng said.

Trump and Hunt should know that Hong Kong is an integral part of China and matters concerning the city are purely China’s internal affairs.

The US, UK and other countries have no tight to interfere in Hong Kong’s internal affairs and they should stop sending misleading signals, Geng said.

As dramatic incidents unfolded inside LegCo on Monday, Trump said the protesters are looking for democracy while “some governments (China)” don’t want it.

In London, Hunt said the Britain would continue to speak out in support of Hong Kongers’ rights.

Violence is not acceptable but people’s right to peaceful protest within the law has to be protected, he said.

The foreign office said Britain was monitoring the ‘one country, two systems’ deal under which Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997.

A spokeswoman said Hong Kong’s success and prosperity are linked to its rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy.

Britain will continue to stand up for these principles and raise issues with the Chinese government when it has concerns, she said.

In an editorial titled ‘Law and order bedrock for Hong Kong’s prosperity’, China Daily said on Tuesday that Britain is flagrantly interfering in Hong Kong’s internal matters and this only forced Geng to remind the country of the grave mistake it is committing.

The ongoing unrest among Hong Kong’s youth springs from a feeling that they are unable to benefit from its development and they are being excluded from its decision-making process.

While the Hong Kong administration must be more responsive to their aspirations, it cannot be at the cost of weakening the ‘one country, two systems’ framed to ensure the smooth return of Hong Kong to China, the editorial said.

Constitutionally, Hong Kong is an integral part of China but attempts are being made to undermine its law and order.

Under the ‘one country, two systems’, Beijing will support the chief executive, Carrie Lam, in governing Hong Kong in accordance with law.

Lam has set difficult goals and tasks which may be viewed differently by society. But such divergent views cannot justify the orchestrated violence Hong Kong has been  witnessing recently, the editorial said.