China rejects US lawmaker’s ‘erroneous’ comments about Hong Kong

China has strongly dismissed the “erroneous” comments by a US Congressman who recently criticized China’s position on the protests in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has for weeks been the scene of protests over a proposed extradition bill. While the government of the semi-autonomous Chinese region has effectively backed away from the bill, protests have persisted, with individuals sometimes resorting to violence and vandalizing government buildings.

Chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Eliot Engel said on Friday that he was “deeply concerned” by reports of alleged police brutality in Hong Kong and criticized Beijing’s “increasingly harsh responses and propagandic depictions” of the protesters.

Protesters gather during a demonstration against an extradition bill that the government has said “is dead,” in Hong Kong, on July 28, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Reacting to the remarks, China’s Foreign Ministry Office in Hong Kong issued a statement on Sunday urging “foreign politicians to stop sending the wrong signals over this violent behavior.”

“What are the qualifications of American politicians to criticize Hong Kong’s human rights, freedoms, and the rule of law?” the statement further read.

The Chinese government has repeatedly warned against foreign interference in Hong Kong’s affairs.

Police officers fire tear gas during a demonstration against what protesters say is police violence, in Hong Kong, on July 28, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Another unauthorized protest held

Separately on Sunday, tens of thousands of demonstrators defied police warnings and held unauthorized marches in different parts of the city.

Hundreds of protesters set up barricades near Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong, forcing riot police to fire multiple volleys of tear gas to protect the government building.

The protesters responded with volleys of bricks.

The liaison office was vandalized last week, when protesters pelted it with eggs and paint.

Another unauthorized rally had already been held on Saturday.

Police detain a protester near the China Liaison Office, in Hong Kong, on July 28, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The Hong Kong Police Force said on Twitter that the situation was “drastically deteriorating.”

“The police are now conducting a dispersal operation eastward with tear gas used,” the force said.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” deal that guarantees it a level of autonomy, including a separate and independent legal system.

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