Reuters: China says it has right to bar people from Hong Kong after British activist turned away12 October 2017 | 12:12 | FOCUS News Agency
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” principle that promises it a high degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.
But critics have accused the government of bending to the will of Communist Party leaders in Beijing and of a gradual watering down of the territory’s freedoms, including freedom of speech and right to protest.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he was “very concerned” that Benedict Rogers, a co-founder of the Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission, was denied entry to Hong Kong on Wednesday and demanded an “urgent explanation” from Hong Kong and China.
It came a week before a sensitive Communist Party leadership meeting starts in Beijing.
Johnson also said Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, rights and freedoms were “central to its way of life”.
Rogers has been a vocal critic of China-ruled Hong Kong’s treatment of political activists, including that of jailed student leader Joshua Wong. He believes the decision to bar him was made by Chinese officials after the Chinese Embassy in London had warned him earlier, through a British member of parliament, that he wouldn’t be allowed in.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the central government had a responsibility for foreign matters related to Hong Kong.
“The central Chinese government and the special administrative region government handle the relevant issue in accordance with the law,” Hua said. “Allowing or not allowing people in is China’s sovereignty ... Hong Kong affairs are a purely internal matter for China.”
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