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China calls on UK to stop gesticulating about Hong Kong as protest turns violent

China has lashed out at the United Kingdom over its interference in Hong Kong recent unrest, calling on London to stop "gesticulating" about its former colony, which is now part of China’s territory.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remarks on Monday after British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said, “It is imperative that Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, and the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people, are fully respected in line with the Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law.”

“We have made our position on this clear to the Chinese Government, both publicly and in private, and will continue to do so,” he added.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” deal that guarantees it a level of autonomy, including a separate and independent legal system.

Geng said in Beijing that the UK “has no so-called responsibility for Hong Kong.”

“Recently Britain has continuously gesticulated about Hong Kong, flagrantly interfering. We are extremely dissatisfied with this and resolutely opposed,” he said.

Protesters attend a rally in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

“We urge Britain to know its place and stop interfering in any form in Hong Kong matters and do more for its prosperity and stability rather than the opposite,” he added.

Hong Kong has recently been the scene of violent protests over an amendment to the city’s law, which would have allowed extradition to mainland China.

The US and Britain were among the Western nations who opposed the change in law.

Protests turn violent  

On Monday, protesters once again took to the streets to mark the anniversary of the city’s handover to Chinese rule.

Protests turned violent as demonstrators clashed with police and tried to break into a government building.

Many people were caught in pictures while smashing windows and trying to storm the Legislative Council building.

A protester tries to break a window at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

This prompted police to fire pepper spray to disperse the protest ahead of a flag raising ceremony in the city.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam appeared in public on Monday for the first time in two weeks, saying that the “incident that happened in recent months has led to controversies and disputes between the public and the government.”

“After this incident, I will learn the lesson and ensure that the government’s future work will be closer and more responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the community.” she said.

Protesters have been calling for Lam’s resignation and a complete withdrawal of an extradition bill that triggered the protests.

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