China on Wednesday expressed firm opposition to the recent comments on Hong Kong made by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, urging him to stop wanton interference in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) affairs.
"In the minds of some people, they regard Hong Kong as still under British rule. They forget (…) that Hong Kong has now returned to the embrace of the motherland," Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming said at a press conference held at the Chinese embassy in London.
According to The Times, Hunt said on Tuesday that he expected China to honor the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which was signed in 1984 when Margaret Thatcher was the British prime minister, and that "there will be serious consequences if that internationally binding legal agreement were not to be honored."
Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming at the press conference (Photo: chinese-embassy.org.uk)
China resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, and the Chinese government has started administering it in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law and fully implements the principles of "One Country, Two Systems" ever since.
The Chinese ambassador said he was disappointed by the position the UK government chose to take. "It has made inappropriate remarks not only to interfere in the internal affairs of Hong Kong but also to back up violent lawbreakers.
"It even attempted to obstruct the Hong Kong SAR government from bringing the criminals to justice, which is an utter interference in Hong Kong's rule of law."
HK had no democracy at all during British colonial rule
"He seems to be fantasizing in the faded glory of British colonialism and obsessed with the bad habit of criticizing and lecturing on other countries' affairs condescendingly," China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in response to Hunt's statement at a daily press briefing on Wednesday.
Geng said he wanted to remind Hunt that Hong Kong had no democracy at all during the British colonial rule, and the Hong Kong people had not even the rights to take to the streets to protest.
In response to Hunt saying the government of the HKSAR should not use the storming of the region's Legislative Council (LegCo) complex by demonstrators as a pretext to "repress" its people, Geng said Hunt was calling black white by saying so since the storming of the LegCo Complex on July 1 was a severe violation of law.
Stressing that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs, Geng said China advises Britain, especially Hunt, to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs as it is doomed to fail.