China tells US not to meddle in Hong Kong’s internal affairs
China has warned the United States against meddling in Hong Kong’s internal affairs after Vice President Joe Biden met with two former Hong Kong legislators who expressed concern that Beijing is tightening control over the territory.
Biden met with Anson Chan, former chief secretary and founder of pro-democracy group Hong Kong 2020, and Martin Lee – founder of Hong Kong’s opposition Democratic Party – at the White House on Friday.
During the meeting, the activists spoke out against whey they described as Beijing’s increasing control over Hong Kong. They also said they fear that only candidates picked by the central government will be allowed to take part in the 2017 chief executive vote. Lee and Chan also voiced concerns over press freedom in Hong Kong – referring to violent assaults on journalists and alleging that Beijing is pressuring advertisers to shun critical media, AFP reported.
Vice President Biden underscored Washington’s “long-standing support for democracy in Hong Kong and for the city’s high degree of autonomy under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework,” the White House said in a statement.
PHOTO: The Vice President drops by a meeting with Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates Martin Lee and Anson Chan. pic.twitter.com/5HXNqSMGWp
— Office of VP Biden (@VP) April 4, 2014
In response, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it “firmly opposes any countries meddling in the city’s internal affairs in any way,” South China Morning Post quoted.
“Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs,” said a spokesperson for the Office of the Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong.
The official added that Hong Kong is currently going through a sensitive political reform period.
“[We] would hope the US would be cautious of their words and actions regarding Hong Kong affairs and not let Hong Kong issues impede Sino-American relations,” he noted.