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Jul 17, 2014|
China has accused the UK of interfering in its internal affairs after a high-ranking British official met two Hong Kong activists.
On Wednesday, China's Foreign Ministry lodged protests with London over the meeting between British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the activists, Martin Lee and Anson Chan, in London.
"What Britain has done is interference in China's internal affairs. China strongly opposes it," the ministry’s spokesman, Hong Lei, said."Hong Kong's affairs fall within China's internal affairs. China firmly opposes any interference in Hong Kong affairs by any country under whatever pretext."
Clegg sat down with anti-Beijing activists on Tuesday and urged greater social freedom from Beijing.
The two activists also appeared before a British parliamentary committee on Wednesday, calling on London not to “turn a blind eye to current developments in Hong Kong."
Hong Kong activists insist that the country’s citizens must be able to elect the city’s leader, known as the chief executive.
On July 1, the day Hong Kong was handed over to China, thousands of people marched in the semi-autonomous city to have their objection heeded by Chinese authorities in what was described as the city’s largest democracy rally in more than a decade.
China, however, has said it will introduce universal suffrage for the city’s 2017 election, but wants a committee to approve the candidates.
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The financial hub used to be a British colony for over a century before it was returned to China in 1997.