BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) – China urged Britain to grasp its fingers off Hong Kong on Wednesday whereas London called for Beijing to honor the agreements made when the city became as soon as handed over in 1997, escalating a diplomatic spat over the earlier British colony.

Beijing denounced British International Secretary Jeremy Hunt as “shameless” and said it had made a diplomatic complaint to London after he warned of consequences if China uncared for its commitments to be sure frequent freedoms.

“Within the minds of some of us, they regard Hong Kong as quiet under British rule. They fail to recollect … that Hong Kong has now returned to the contain of the Motherland,” China’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, said.

“I expose them: fingers off Hong Kong and expose appreciate. This colonial mindset is quiet haunting the minds of some officials or politicians,” Liu urged newshounds.

The rising struggle of phrases between China and Britain follows mass protests in Hong Kong in opposition to a now suspended invoice that would possibly per chance per chance per chance allow extradition to mainland China.

Hundreds of protesters in the earlier British colony besieged and broke into the legislature on Monday after a demonstration marking the anniversary of return to Chinese language rule.

China called the violence an “undisguised suppose of affairs” to the “one country, two programs” model under which Hong Kong has been ruled for 22 years.

On Tuesday, Hunt warned of consequences if China did no longer abide by the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984 on the terms of the return of Hong Kong, which permits freedoms no longer loved in mainland China, at the side of the lawful to instruct.

“We are able to produce it sure we stand in the back of the of us of Hong Kong in protection of the freedoms that we negotiated for them after we agreed to the handover in 1997 and we can remind every person that we query all worldwide locations to honor their global responsibilities,” Hunt urged Reuters.

Hunt is even handed one of two contenders vying to interchange Theresa Might per chance presumably as British top minister and his rival Boris Johnson urged Reuters on Wednesday that he additionally backed the of us of Hong Kong “every drag of the scheme”.

The comments clearly irked Beijing. China’s London envoy scolded Britain and said meddling in Hong Kong would trigger a “impart in the relationship” between them.

“The UK executive chose to stand on the snide aspect: it has made corrupt remarks no longer only to intrude in inner affairs of Hong Kong but additionally to back up the violent law-breakers,” Liu said.


Earlier, International Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang chided Hunt, announcing that only after Hong Kong’s return to China did its of us get an “unheard of” guarantee about democracy and freedom.

“To affirm that the freedoms of Hong Kong residents is one thing Britain strived for is completely shameless,” he urged a data briefing. “I would possibly per chance per chance well treasure to inquire of Mr. Hunt, for the length of the British colonial technology in Hong Kong, became as soon as there any democracy to focus on of? Hong Kongers didn’t even absorb the lawful to instruct.”

China had lodged “stern representations” with Britain each in Beijing and London about Hunt’s remarks, he added.

FILE PHOTO: Rebellion police sure the streets exterior the Legislative Council building, after protesters stormed the building on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China, in Hong Kong, China July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

Britain said it had summoned Liu to the foreign web website of commercial following his “unacceptable” comments, a executive offer said.

“Message to Chinese language govt: criminal members of the family between worldwide locations are consistent with mutual appreciate and honoring the legally binding agreements between them,” Hunt said on Twitter after Liu’s media briefing.

“That is mainly the most productive solution to defend the sizable relationship between the UK and China.”


The turbulence in Hong Kong became as soon as resulted in by an extradition invoice opponents affirm will undermine Hong Kong’s indispensable-cherished rule of law and affords Beijing powers to prosecute activists in mainland courts, which will seemingly be controlled by the Communist Celebration.

Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed chief Carrie Lam had strongly promoted the invoice, but suspended it on June 15 in the face of public protests in opposition to it. Critics absorb called on her to formally crash the invoice, but she has resisted.

Britain and China had been in quest of to reset ties after a row over the disputed South China Sea closing year, with Chinese language Vice Premier Hu Chunhua visiting London closing month to oversee the originate of a link between its stock alternate and that of Shanghai.

Confrontation and lawlessness in Hong Kong would possibly per chance per chance per chance injury its recognition as an global trade hub and critically damage its economy, China’s top newspaper, the Folk’s Each day, said in an editorial.

“That is no longer going to only abet no aim, but will additionally severely hinder economic and social trend,” the ruling Communist Celebration’s official paper said, denouncing what it called artificially created division and opposition.

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China has blamed Western worldwide locations, in particular the US and Britain, for offering attend to the protests.

In an editorial, the official China Each day, an English-language newspaper Beijing veritably makes use of to send its message to the realm, condemned “exterior agitations”.

“What has additionally been essential is the hypocrisy of some Western governments – the US and United Kingdom most prominently – which absorb called for a quit to the violence, as in the occasion that they’ve had nothing to achieve with it,” the paper said.

“However, making an try back on the total instruct saga, they’ve been deeply fascinated by fuelling it since its inception.”

Extra reporting by David Stanway in SHANGHAI and Andrew MacAskill, Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge in London; Writing by Ben Blanchard and Michael Holden; Bettering by Paul Tait, Clarence Fernandez and Frances Kerry