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Iran Press TV

China slams US intervention in Hong Kong's affairs

Iran Press TV

Fri May 17, 2019 05:10PM

China has decried the United States' interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, which is self-ruled but subject to Chinese sovereignty, following remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about a proposed extradition law.

"It is wrong to try and interfere in Hong Kong's affairs in any way," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Friday. "Trying to seize the opportunity to incite chaos in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region does not have popular support and will not be successful."

Pompeo discussed the proposed extradition law during a meeting with a delegation headed by Martin Lee, a founder of Hong Kong's opposition Democratic Party, in Washington on Thursday.

The US official "expressed concern about the Hong Kong government's proposed amendments to the Fugitive Ordinance law," which he said "threaten Hong Kong's rule of law."

Lu, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said there were certain people in Hong Kong who were "trying to use foreign forces to disturb normal social order" in the region, in an apparent reference to Lee and other opposition figures.

Hong Kong's government seeks to have a law passed that allows suspects to be sent for trial to countries not covered by the region's current extradition agreements. The plan has sparked protests on the self-ruled island, with critics saying the law could be used to send Beijing's political opponents to mainland China.

Lu, however, said the bill was needed to "to plug legal loopholes" in Hong Kong's judicial system and prevent it from becoming "a haven for criminals."

The spokesman also stressed that the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents were fully protected under the law.

Former British colony Hong Kong was returned to China after about a century in 1979. Its legislative, executive, and judicial bodies are separate from and independent of China, and Beijing only maintains authority in defense, foreign affairs, and constitutional disputes.

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