Prime Minister David Cameron is criticizing China’s decision to bar a British fact-finding mission from Hong Kong, escalating a diplomatic dispute that threatens to damage relations between London and Beijing.
On Sunday, the chairman the parliamentary delegation, said he had been told by Chinese embassy officials the group will be refused entry to Hong Kong to inquire into its political development.
Cameron sharply criticised the decision, calling it a mistake, Reuters reported Tuesday.
“His view is that the decision with regard to the foreign affairs committee is a mistaken one,” a spokesman for the British leader told reporters.
He said Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond had raised a complaint about the matter with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of a meeting last week in Vienna.
“It’s counter-productive because it only serves to amplify concerns about the situation in Hong Kong, rather than diminishing concerns.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying had previously said Beijing had every right to decide who it let into the territory, calling the British committee’s determination to visit an “overt confrontation”, the report said.
The spat comes as thousands of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong forced the temporary closure of government headquarters after clashing with police over the way the next leader will be elected in 2017.
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