The Chinese government has said some Western politicians are stirring up trouble in Hong Kong – after another weekend of violence.
“Some politicians in western country have frequently made unwarranted remarks, making judgements and even embolden certain forces in Hong Kong,” said a spokesman.
“At the end of the day, their intention is to create trouble in Hong Kong, make Hong Kong a problem to China, in order to contain China’s development. Such attempt will lead nowhere.”
Yan Guang, spokesman for China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, gave no further specific details.
However, China’s UK ambassador recently told Britain to keep its “hands off” the territory and “show respect”.
Rubber bullets and tear gas were fired at protesters in Hong Kong this weekend as demonstrations, which have been going on for weeks, turned ugly again.
They started over plans for a controversial law to allow people to be sent from Hong Kong to mainland China for trial, with worries it could be used to silence those against Beijing’s rule.
This weekend’s protests were over claims of police brutality, and they have also grown to encompass a general call for greater democracy.
Mr Guang accused some people in the West of having a “strange logic” that meant they were sympathetic to “violent crimes”, while criticising the “due diligence” of Hong Kong police.
Former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt may be one of those he was referring to.
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Mr Hunt aimed a tweet directly at the Chinese government a few weeks ago, saying “good relations… are based on mutual respect and honouring the legally binding agreements between them”.
China’s government spokesman also used Monday’s news conference to say it is still backing Hong Kong governor Carrie Lam.
“The central government firmly supports Carrie Lam leading the Hong Kong government’s administration according to law, firmly supports the Hong Kong police strictly enforcing rule of law,” he said.
The resignation of Ms Lam is another of the protesters’ denands, who have accused her of being a puppet for China’s rulers.
Hong Kong was a British colony for more than 150 years until it was handed back to China in 1997 with an assurance it would continue to enjoy greater freedoms than the mainland under the “one country, two systems” model.
Sky’s correspondent Tom Cheshire described “utter bedlam” on the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday, as a small group of protesters with masks and helmets refused to go home and clashed with riot police.
The protests had been banned and authorities said at least 49 people had been arrested over charges including unauthorised assembly and having offensive weapons.
Chinese troops have a garrison in Hong Kong and there are concerns they could be mobilised to help the police.
Asked under what conditions they would be called up, China’s spokesman referred to Hong Kong’s mini constitution, the Basic Law, that states the People’s Liberation Army can be asked to help maintain order.