|18 November, 2019

China tells U.S. and Britain to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs

Britain calls for safe passage for those trapped

Protesters are escorted by police out of the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) during clashes with police in Hong Kong, China November 18, 2019.

Protesters are escorted by police out of the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) during clashes with police in Hong Kong, China November 18, 2019.

Reuters/Thomas Peter

LONDON - China’s ambassador to London said on Monday foreign countries, including the United States and Britain, should stop interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs as protesters continued to battle with Hong Kong police.

"Some Western countries have publicly supported extreme violent offenders, the U.S. House of representatives adopted the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to blatantly interfere in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs," ambassador Liu Xiaoming told reporters.

"The British government and the foreign affairs committee of the House of Commons published China-related reports making irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong. What is worse certain British politicians even planned to present (an) award to a chief propagandist for Hong Kong independence."

Hong Kong police laid siege to a university on Monday, firing rubber bullets and tear gas to pin back anti-government protesters armed with petrol bombs and other weapons and stop them from fleeing amid fears of a bloody crackdown.

Britain said it was seriously concerned by the violence on both sides at Hong Kong's universities and called for safe passage and medical assistance be given to those trapped at the campuses.

"We remain seriously concerned by the situation in Hong Kong and the escalation of violence between protesters and police. We continue to urge for calm and restraint on all sides and support the right to peaceful protest," a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.

"It is vital that those who are injured are able to receive appropriate medical treatment, and that safe passage is made available for all those who wish to leave the area," Britain's Foreign Office said.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirborn, Andrew MacAskill and Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden/Guy Faulconbridge) ((Andrew.MacAskill@thomsonreuters.com; +447818584430; Reuters Messaging: andrew.macaskill@thomsonreuters.com))

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