Beijing has backed Hong Kong’s government over its controversial plan to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland, saying it opposes “any outside interference” in the semi-autonomous territory.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday that Beijing would “continue to firmly support” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who earlier vowed to push ahead with the new laws despite massive protests against them.
“Second, we firmly oppose any outside interference in the legislative affairs [of Hong Kong],” Shuang told a regular press briefing, adding “some countries have made some irresponsible remarks about the amendment”.
Chinese state-run media on Monday slammed the territory’s protest organisers for “collusion with the West” and pointed to meetings between Hong Kong opposition figures and senior US officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“It is very noteworthy that some international forces have significantly strengthened their interaction with the Hong Kong opposition in recent months,” an editorial in the Chinese-language edition of the Global Times said.
Lam earlier on Monday defended the proposed amendments – which would allow for case-by-case extraditions to jurisdictions, including mainland China, beyond the 20 states with which Hong Kong already has treaties – as necessary to ensure the territory meets its “international obligations in terms of cross-boundary and transnational crimes”.