HONG KONG- On Tuesday, the leader of the Chinese-ruled city said that interference by foreign parliaments in Hong Kong's affairs is deeply regrettable, adding that an escalation of violence cannot solve social issues in the Asian financial hub.
The city's Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, was speaking after another weekend of sometimes violent clashes in the former British colony, with police firing tear gas in cat-and-mouse skirmishes with protesters who at times smashed windows and started fires in the streets.
"It's extremely inappropriate for foreign parliaments to interfere in HKSAR internal affairs in any way, and (we) will not allow (the United States) to become a stakeholder in HKSAR matters," Lam said, referring to Hong Kong by its status as a special administrative region of China.
Hong Kong returned to Beijing in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula that guarantees freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked about the protests in front of the US Consulate and Lam's call for foreign parliaments not to interfere, said Beijing was resolutely opposed to any foreign government interfering in China's affairs.
"We hope they can withdraw their black hands in Hong Kong as soon as possible," she said.
"The downgrade reflects months of ongoing conflict environment which are testing the 'one country, two systems' framework and which have inflicted damage to the international perception of the quality and effectiveness of Hong Kong's governance and rule of law as well as the stability of its business environment," Schwarz said.