Violent protesters in Hong Kong are trying to sabotage "one country, two systems" principle, Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming stated on Monday.
According to the envoy, Hong Kong is facing an extremely dangerous situation due to the recent escalation of 'illegal violent activities'. Liu added that the Chinese government remains committed to safeguarding the country's sovereignty and security interests.
The ambassador believes that the current situation in Hong Kong has nothing to do with 'so-called democracy or freedom'.
Liu also blamed external forces of interfering in Hong Kong and Chinese affairs. In particular, the official accused the US House of Representative of blatantly meddling in Hong Kong protests. He also took aim at the UK House of Commons for making irresponsible remarks on the situation in the territory.
"Some Western countries have publicly supported extreme violent offenders, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to blatantly interfere in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs," the envoy said. "The British government and the foreign affairs committee of the House of Commons published China-related reports making irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong. What is worse, certain British politicians even planned to present (an) award to a chief propagandist for Hong Kong independence."
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK is gravely concerned by the escalating violence in Hong Kong.
"We remain seriously concerned by the situation in Hong Kong and the escalation of violence between protesters and police. We continue to urge for calm and restraint on all sides and support the right to peaceful protest," the spokesman said. "We believe political dialogue is the only way forward and we want to see the Hong Kong authorities agree to a path to resolve the situation."
The massive protests began in Hong Kong in early June over a controversial extradition bill, which was officially withdrawn in October. Frustrated with the local authorities’ heavy-handed responses to the protests, the demonstrators expanded their demands to an independent investigation into alleged police brutality and greater civil liberties, including universal suffrage, while calling for the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
Beijing has repeatedly stated that the situation in Hong Kong is a result of foreign interference in China's domestic affairs and expressed full support for the actions of the local authorities.
Claims of Xinjiang Prison Camps
The envoy also touched upon the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region and in particular the issue of alleged 'prison camps,' saying that there is no such thing.
He added that Beijing never eliminated any ethnic group in the region, adding that the aim of the training centres there is to provide opportunities for people who have committed minor crimes to learn Mandarin in order to be good citizens.
In an August 2018 report, UN experts on the elimination of racial discrimination said that up to 1 million ethnic Uyghurs could be held in so-called re-education camps.
Beijing has, however, repeatedly denied the existence of such camps on numerous occasions, saying that the claims have never been substantiated and arguing that the facilities are, in fact, vocational colleges set up as part of counterterrorism efforts in the region.