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China calls Hong Kong protests an 'undisguised challenge' to legal arrangement

Chinese officials on Tuesday denounced protests in Hong Kong, calling them an “undisguised challenge” to the formula under which the city is ruled.


Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing condemned the storming of the Legislative Council by hundreds protesting a bill that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to China.

“The violent attacks ... are serious illegal acts that trample on the rule of law and endanger social order. We strongly condemn it,” Geng told reporters at a daily briefing, according to The Associated Press.

He also rejected any foreign involvement in the situation, saying other countries “must not support any violent criminals in any form, and not send any misleading signals or take any erroneous actions.”

Hong Kong has been rife with protests for weeks over a controversial proposal that would allow some criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial.

The bill has sparked local worries about mainland China’s broadening control over Hong Kong. When the city was transferred to Chinese rule from the United Kingdom in 1997, a guarantee was made that it would have a legal system independent of Beijing.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended the controversial bill last month after hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flooded the city, but that was not enough to quell protests.

Protesters are demanding the bill be formally withdrawn and that Lam resign.

Geng backed Lam's administration on Tuesday.

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