China rejects US lawmaker's comments on Hong Kong protests, human rights

China rejects US lawmaker's comments on Hong Kong protests, human rights

People hold up a black flag during a protest outside police headquarters to demand Hong Kong’s lead
People hold up a black flag during a protest outside police headquarters to demand Hong Kong’s leaders step down and withdraw an extradition bill, in Hong Kong on Jun 21, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

BEIJING: China said it strongly opposes what it calls "erroneous" claims made by Chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Eliot Engel, who criticised China's Communist Party over its position on protests in Hong Kong.

Engel said in a statement on Friday that he was "deeply concerned" by reports of police brutality in Hong Kong and criticised Beijing's "increasingly harsh responses and propagandic depictions" of the protesters.

China's Foreign Ministry Office in Hong Kong responded on Sunday with a sharply-worded statement, saying it "urges foreign politicians to stop sending the wrong signals over this violent behaviour".

"What are the qualifications of American politicians to criticise Hong Kong's human rights, freedoms and the rule of law?" it said.

READ: China tells US to remove 'black hands' from Hong Kong

Hong Kong democracy activists march in Hong Kong's Central and Western districts
A man holds a US flag as pro-democracy protesters gather at Chater Garden before a march to protest against police violence during previous marches, in central Hong Kong, China on Jul 28, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

It's the latest in a series of sharp rebukes by China aimed at US and UK politicians who have criticised Hong Kong authorities' responses to the protests, as well as Beijing's growing influence in the independently governed city.

The Hong Kong protests, which have surged again in recent days, were initially against an extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China, but have since broadened into calls for wider democratic reforms.

Protesters are also seeking independent inquiries into police use of force and are calling for the resignation of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam.

China recently said it believes US officials were behind the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and asked the United States to "withdraw their black hands".

Source: Reuters/zl

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