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China cries foul over G7 resolution backing Hong Kong protests

China cries foul over G7 resolution backing Hong Kong protests

Beijing: A livid China on Tuesday cried foul and expressed "strong dissatisfaction" with a joint statement issued by the G7 leaders reminding Beijing of its obligations laid out in a 1984 agreement between Britain and China, amid intensifying pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has been witnessing unprecedented protests by millions of people against the government's plan to allow extraditions to the Communist nation. While some of the peaceful demonstrations witnessed at times the participation of over two million locals, hardline pro-democracy activists have been clashing with police almost every day disrupting normal life.

China has been accusing external interference in Hong Kong protests specially by the US, Britain and the EU.

The just concluded G7 summit for the first-time voiced support for pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong through a resolution reminding Beijing of  its obligations under the 1984 agreement between Britain and China.

"The G7 reaffirms the existence and importance of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 on Hong Kong and calls for violence to be avoided," the resolution said.

The statement backed by the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States also called for calm. The resolution was seen as a major boost of international support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Reacting to the resolution at a media briefing here, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused the G7 of "meddling" in China's internal affairs and "harbouring evil intentions".

"We express our strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the statement made by the leaders of the G7 Summit on Hong Kong affairs," Geng said, adding that the Chinese government exercises governance over Hong Kong in accordance with the constitution and the basic law.

"According to international law and basic norms governing international relations, no country or organisation has the right to interfere in Hong Kong's affairs under the pretext of the Sino-British joint declaration," he said.

Besides guaranteeing one country two systems of governance ensuring fair degree of autonomy except foreign and defence affairs, the 1984 declaration stipulates that the basic law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will remain unchanged for 50 years.

It also stipulates that the government of the HKSAR is responsible for the maintenance of public order. It says the military forces sent by the Central People's Government, stationed in HKSAR, for the purpose of defence shall not interfere in the internal affairs in the HKSAR.

This year, France and current G7 President Emmanuel Macron invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of South Africa, Australia, Chile, Egypt, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Spain to attend the summit. China was conspicuously absent from the list of invitees.

The protests which began few weeks ago over the move by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region headed by Carrie Lam to introduce a bill to extradite wanted local persons to the Chinese mainland have now turned into a major rebellion with protestors demanding universal franchise of 'one person, one vote' with freedom for all the locals to contest the local elections.

China has massed thousands of para military troops at Shenzhen city bordering Hong Kong in a show of strength but so far refrained from deploying them in the former British colony.

China's security czar, Zhao Kezhi, who is the Minister of Public Security visited Shenzhen on Monday during which he pledged to prevent and crackdown on violent and terrorist activities, as well as infiltrative and subversive activities to safeguard China's political security. 

He urged the police to have a clear picture of the current situation and challenges, so as to defend national political security.

His speech also aimed to serve as a pep talk for police forces in Guangdong to prepare for the upcoming 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), state-run Global Times reported.

On August 6, 12,000 police officers in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, participated in a drill which aimed to maintain social stability, encourage the morale of police forces and prepare for the anniversary of the founding of the PRC, it reported.

The drill, however, attracted online attention as it featured emergency scenarios that resembled the ongoing riots in adjacent Hong Kong, it said.

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