BEIJING – China has rebuffed as “useless” complaints by British Prime Minister David Cameron about a ban on a group of British lawmakers from visiting Hong Kong, saying the former colonial power would reap what it sowed.
Mr Cameron believes that China’s decision to prevent the trip is mistaken and has served only to heighten concerns about the territory, his spokesman said.
On Sunday, the chairman of Britain’s parliamentary committee on foreign affairs said Chinese embassy officials had told him that he and other British MPs would be refused entry to monitor progress towards democracy in Hong Kong.
The Chinese foreign ministry said Beijing alone had responsibility for Hong Kong’s foreign affairs and it would decide who to allow in.
“China’s opposition to any foreign government, organisation or individual interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs in any form is resolute,” ministry spokesman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing, when asked about Mr Cameron’s comments.
“If certain people in Britain still want to keep on like this, it is not only irrational and useless but like lifting up a rock to drop it on one’s foot,” she added, using an expression meaning to reap what one has sowed.
The British MPs did not want to visit Hong Kong for “a normal friendly visit but to carry out a so-called investigation on Chinese territory”, Ms Hua said. “We do not need any foreign lawmakers to carry out probes. I hope they can clearly see this basic reality.”
The US also issued a fresh appeal to China to exercise restraint in Hong Kong, saying it was concerned about the ban on the British MPs.
“We encourage differences between Hong Kong authorities and protesters to be addressed peacefully through dialogue,” State Department spokesman Jen Psaki told reporters.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE