China slams “ill-intended” and "hypocritical" foreign intervention in the affairs of Hong Kong after violent protests over a proposed amendment to the city’s extradition law.
The official China Daily said Monday Hong Kong’s “fugitive rendition arrangements are purely an internal affair”, adding countries such as the United States or Britain should have no say in the matter.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997, under a "one country, two systems" deal that guarantees it a level of autonomy, including a separate and independent legal system.
On Saturday, Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam decided to indefinitely postpone amending the city's extradition law after a week of sometimes violent protests.
Washington and London were quick to welcome the move and support the agitation which continued on Sunday, with thousands of protesters occupying main roads and highways.
In an editorial, China Daily said Beijing will “not waver, not in the face of street violence nor the ill-intentioned interventions of foreign governments.”
The central government in Beijing has expressed its support, respect and understanding for Hong Kong’s decision, but condemned violent acts by protesters.
Clashes erupted between police and demonstrators when tens of thousands of people moved to occupy key roads around government headquarters Wednesday, injuring at least 22 police officers and dozens of protesters.
A US consulate spokesman in Hong Kong warned Lam to take "the domestic and international community" into account should her government pursue changes to extradition laws, particularly regarding mainland China.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said last week London was "concerned about potential effects" of Hong Kong's extradition plans.
“Indeed, their sanctimonious posturing is hypocritical, given their bluster is maliciously intended and fans anti-government sentiment in Hong Kong and incites lawlessness,” China Daily said in reference to the US and the UK.
On Friday, Beijing summoned Robert Forden, the US Deputy Chief of Mission in Beijing, to protest against Washington’s interference in Hong Kong affairs.
"China called on the United States ... to immediately stop all interference in Hong Kong’s affairs and stop taking action that would affect the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong," the Chinese foreign ministry said.
Chinese daily the Global Times also warned Washington against using Hong Kong as a “bargaining chip” to force compromises in trade talks.
“The riots in Hong Kong will only consolidate Beijing’s tough stance against Washington,” it said.
It was referring to a year-long trade dispute between Beijing and Washington, which according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), could cut the global economic output by 0.5 percent, or about 455 billion dollars, next year.
Protesters end road occupation
On Monday, police spent hours to call on protesters to clear a major highway. The group eventually ended its occupation without any confrontation, but continued protest in a nearby park.
Protesters flooded the streets on Sunday and occupied the highway outside the city's parliament and some nearby streets.
The crowd, which brought traffic to a standstill, had dramatically dropped to just a few hundred who camped out over night along the main road.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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