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China demands US 'stop interfering' in Hong Kong

File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencies New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 11, 2019, 04.30 PM (IST)

Beijing on Tuesday slammed what it called "irresponsible and erroneous comments" by Washington about a proposed Hong Kong law that would allow extraditions to mainland China after the United States expressed concerns about the legislation.

"We demand that the US side... be cautious and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs in any form," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.

Earlier in the day, US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in media briefing expressed "grave concern" about the Hong Kong government’s proposed amendments to its fugitive offenders ordinance.
 
She said a peaceful demonstration on Sunday by hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong "clearly shows the public’s opposition to the proposed amendments."

"The United States shares the concern of many in Hong Kong that the lack of procedural protection in the proposed amendments could undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and negatively impact the territory’s longstanding protections of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic values," she said.

Ortagus said the United States was concerned that the amendments could damage Hong Kong’s business environment "and subject our citizens residing in or visiting Hong Kong to China’s capricious judicial system."

Watch: Hong Kong's largest protest since 1997

"Any amendments to the fugitive offenders ordinance should be pursued with great care and in full consultation with a broad range of local and international stakeholders who may be affected by the amendments," she said.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam vowed on Monday to push ahead with the amendments despite the city's biggest protest since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Britain handed Hong Kong back to China under a "one country, two systems" formula with guarantees that its autonomy and freedoms, including an independent justice system, would be protected.

But many accuse China of extensive meddling in many sectors, denying democratic reforms and squeezing freedoms.

Story highlights

'We demand that the US side... be cautious and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs in any form,' foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.