00:30 GMT +322 November 2019
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    A protester mounts a metal barricade during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China June 12, 2019.

    UK Prime Minister Expresses Concern Over Mass Protests in Hong Kong

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    LONDON (Sputnik) - Outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May told Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua on Monday that London was concerned about the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, the UK prime minister’s office said in a statement.

    "The Prime Minister raised the recent protests in Hong Kong, stressing the need to respect the rights and freedoms set out in the legally binding Sino-British joint declaration [on the transfer of Hong Kong to China]", the statement says.

    May, Hu, and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond met on Monday evening at the residence of the UK prime minister in London.

    The parties also discussed climate change, trade, and dialogue in the field of economy and finance.

    Hundreds of thousands marched on government buildings in Hong Kong on Wednesday in an attempt to disrupt the second reading of a controversial extradition bill, which, if passed, will allow fugitives to be transferred to jurisdictions Hong Kong has no respective agreements with, including mainland China.

    Clashes between protesters and police erupted, injuring reportedly 72 people. Eleven people were detained, according to reports.

    On Saturday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that she would suspend the bill. Despite this, protests continued, as many thousands of protesters blocked the main streets of the city as well as government buildings on Monday.

    Hong Kong citizens also reportedly fear that the bill would erode the region’s judicial independence. The city is a former UK colony returned to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" pact.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, blamed western politicians for instigating the protests.


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