China ramps up warnings to us about honk kong
Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)
Thursday March 4, 2:57 PM
China ramps up warnings to US about Hong Kong
China has expressed renewed warnings to the United States to stay out of Hong Kong affairs, telling Washington the affairs of the territory were none of its business.
The warnings came on the eve of an address to a US Senate hearing on the issue of democracy in the former British colony by Hong Kong Legislator Martin Lee, the former leader of the Democratic Party, and party colleague James To.
"We, the Chinese government, resolutely oppose any attempts to interfere in its internal affairs," said foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.
"Hong Kong's democratic issue is China's internal affairs, and the Basic Law has earnestly safeguarded the democracy of Hong Kong and its people's democratic rights.
"The Chinese people are wise enough to handle Hong Kong affairs according to the law, and any random comments from external forces are not necessary," he said.
In recent months, the United States has renewed calls for electoral reform and universal suffrage in Hong Kong.
Lee has said he will tell the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Sub-Committee hearing that Hong Kong people want to see democracy introduced.
Democratic stirrings in Hong Kong have alarmed communist China, which fears it will inspire similar aspirations in mainland cities, where economic reforms have created a powerful new elite and growing middle class.
The problem is made all the more complex for the Chinese leadership because of the intense international scrutiny of Hong Kong, severely limiting its scope of action.
China took control of the territory from Britain in 1997, and it has been a special administrative region, ruled by its own largely autonomous government.
Beijing, though has made it clear they believe Hong Kong's political structure must develop in a gradual and orderly manner under the Basic Law, its mini-constitution, which allows for the first directly elected chief executive in 2007.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa has admitted that political reform will only come following approval by China's top leaders.