Beijing tells London to stay out of its affairs after UK minister seeks HK probe

Protesters forming up at Harcourt Road before their clash outside the Legislative Council on Aug 5, 2019.
Protesters forming up at Harcourt Road before their clash outside the Legislative Council on Aug 5, 2019.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

BEIJING/WASHINGTON • Beijing yesterday told London to stay out of China's internal affairs after Britain's foreign minister called for an independent investigation into the recent protests in Hong Kong.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called for the probe on Friday after a phone call with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the Foreign Office in London said in a statement. "It is simply wrong for the British government to directly call Hong Kong's Chief Executive to exert pressure," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said in a statement.

"The Chinese side seriously urges the UK to stop its interference in China's internal affairs and stop making random and inflammatory accusations on Hong Kong," she said, adding that Hong Kong was no longer a British colony and Britain has no supervisory rights.

In a statement on Friday, the British Foreign Office said Mr Raab had condemned the violence in Hong Kong but emphasised the right to peaceful protest.

Meanwhile, the United States has demanded that Beijing-backed news outlets stop sharing "dangerous" reports, after a newspaper revealed personal information about a diplomat in Hong Kong who met pro-democracy activists. "Official Chinese media reports on our diplomat in Hong Kong have gone from irresponsible to dangerous. This must stop," State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus posted on Twitter on Friday.

The Hong Kong-based, pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao reported that Ms Julie Eadeh, the political unit chief of the US Consulate-General in Hong Kong, had met members of the political party Demosisto - including prominent democracy activist Joshua Wong.

It shared details of Ms Eadeh's career as well as her family members' names.

On Thursday, China demanded that US diplomats based in Hong Kong "stop interfering" in the city's affairs.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 11, 2019, with the headline 'Beijing tells London to stay out of its affairs after UK minister seeks HK probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe