China reaffirms opposition to foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs: FM spokesman

BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- China once again voiced opposition on Tuesday to foreign interference in Hong Kong's affairs.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang reiterated the Chinese government's opposition to any foreign interference in internal affairs at a regular press briefing.

"Hong Kong has returned to the motherland," said Qin, reaffirming that Hong Kong is one special administrative region of China, and its democratic reforms are internal affairs of China.

Qin's remarks came after a BBC report on Monday saying the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China had sent a letter to its British counterpart condemning the probe into the state of democracy since Hong Kong was handed over to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

The NPC's Foreign Affairs Committee wrote to the British parliament to discuss the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed in 1984, agreeing to return Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, said Qin.

"It is fully justified and reasonable for the NPC's Foreign Affairs Committee to communicate with its British counterpart about China's stance on Hong Kong affairs," he said.

The Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming also made China's position clear to the British side, which fulfilled his obligation as an envoy of the People's Republic of China, said the spokesman.

The NPC Standing Committee decided on Sunday to grant universal suffrage in selection of Hong Kong's chief executive on the basis of nomination by a "broadly representative" committee.

Li Fei, vice secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee, said the central government has achieved remarkable progress in pushing forward orderly democratic development in Hong Kong since its return to China in 1997.

The first chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was elected by a 400-member Selection Committee, while the second, third and fourth chief executives were elected by the Election Committee, the membership of which in the meantime had grown from 800 to 1,200.