China denounces U.S. for sending ‘wrong message’ to Hong Kong protesters

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SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – (Reuters) – China criticized U.S. Congress on Friday for sending the wrong message to pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong after a congressional report expressed concern about the Chinese-controlled city in a “deliberate attack” on China.

The former British colony of Hong Kong has witnessed almost two weeks of “Occupy Central” protests calling on the Beijing-backed government to keep its promise of introducing universal suffrage, underscoring the challenges China faces in imposing its will on the freewheeling financial hub.

The annual report to U.S. Congress by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, released on Thursday, said the United States should increase support for democracy in Hong Kong and push for universal suffrage.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that the U.S. had no right to get involved on Hong Kong’s affairs, which were an internal matter for China.

“The report by this U.S. body distorts the facts and is a deliberate attack on China. We express our extreme dissatisfaction about it,” Hong told a daily news briefing.

“We demand that this committee stop this wrong interference in and damaging of Sino-U.S. relations. This body should speak and act cautiously, stop sending the wrong message to Occupy Central and other illegal activities or provide them support.”

China’s Communist Party leaders rule Hong Kong through a “one country, two systems” formula which allows wide-ranging autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland and specifies universal suffrage as an eventual goal.

But Beijing ruled on Aug. 31 it would screen candidates who want to run for the city’s election for a chief executive in 2017, which democracy activists said rendered the notion of universal suffrage meaningless.

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