China has warned Britain to stay out of its internal affairs after British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab called for an independent investigation into the recent riots in its former colony Hong Kong.
"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.
The angry reaction came after the British Foreign Office said on Friday Raab had talked on phone with Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam and reminded her of citizens' right to hold protests in Hong Kong.
“It is simply wrong for the British government to directly call Hong Kong’s Chief Executive to exert pressure,” Hua said, adding that Hong Kong is no longer a British colony and the UK has no supervisory rights.
“The Chinese side seriously urges the UK to stop its interference in China’s internal affairs and stop making random and inflammatory accusations on Hong Kong,” she said.
Hong Kong is facing its worst political crisis since returning from British to Chinese rule in 1997, with often violent protests having seriously disrupted business in the international financial hub for the past nine weeks.
Clashes were triggered by opposition to a planned extradition law that would have allowed defendants to be sent to mainland China for trial. While the bill has been suspended, the riots have taken a turn for the worse.
China has accused foreign powers of fueling and funding the unrest. Last week, the Chinese government slammed Washington after reports emerged that some US diplomats based in Hong Kong had met with riot leaders.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Saturday urged the US to "immediately make a clean break with various anti-China rioters" and "stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs immediately".
The warning came as protesters rallied across the city, with thousands thronging the airport arrivals hall for a second day.
Tear gas was used after several hundred rioters who had marched through Tai Po in the north of the territory had barricaded an intersection in the Tai Wai neighborhood.
New protests were planned in different locations on Sunday, including one at the city's international airport for a third day.
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