Parliamentarians from the United Kingdom should stop “badgering” China over its decision to bar them from visiting Hong Kong, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
“Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. China firmly opposes the interference of any country, institution or individual in any form in Hong Kong affairs,” Hong Lei, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, was quoted by Xinhua at Thursday’s press briefing.
Chinese diplomats reiterated their position in response to Wednesday’s reports that members of the UK Parliament’s foreign affairs committee called on the British Foreign Office to summon China’s ambassador. The committee chair remarked that UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s criticism of Beijing’s “mistaken” decision last Monday was not strong enough a reaction.
“We hope certain British lawmakers will stop their meaningless hype,” Hong stressed.
On December 1, China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed its decision to refuse British foreign affairs committee members’ entry into Hong Kong ahead of their planned visit before the year’s end. A week earlier, China revoked the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) leader’s visa on the day of his flight to attend the UK-China Leadership Forum in Shanghai. The cancellation was reportedly due to the APPG leader’s remarks during a parliamentary session in October, where he maintained the UK’s moral obligation to protect Hong Kong’s autonomy. Those remarks fueled tensions in Chinese-British relations and led to China’s request not to interfere in its internal affairs.
The latest wave of unrest that has plagued the former British colony saw Hong Kong police arrest the remaining protesters on Thursday during a large-scale dismantling operation in accordance with Tuesday’s High Court ruling.