Beijing says it won’t allow Hong Kong to be brought up at G20

Posted at 3:29 AM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 05:29:12-04

A top Chinese Foreign Ministry official said Beijing would “not allow” the Hong Kong protests to be brought up at the G20 meeting in Osaka beginning on Thursday.

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Jun told a press briefing Monday that the G20 usually discusses global trade and economic issues and wouldn’t focus on the week-long protests in Hong Kong.

“We will not allow Hong Kong issues to be discussed at the G20 summit,” Zhang said. “Hong Kong affairs are Chinese domestic affairs, any foreign force has no right to interfere in this.”

The Foreign Ministry officially announced on Sunday that Chinese President Xi Jinping would be attending the G20 summit in Osaka between June 27 to 29, his first trip to Japan as leader.

During his visit, Xi is expected to meet with United States President Donald Trump for talks aimed at restarting trade deal negotiations between the two countries.

Zhang’s comments that China would not discuss Hong Kong follow remarks by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on June 16 indicating that Trump may raise the mass demonstrations with Xi during their meeting.

More protests are planned in Hong Kong on Wednesday, with campaigners calling for pro-democracy reforms.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Hong Kong over the past two weeks to protest against a government extradition bill which many fear could be used to deport political activists and dissidents to mainland China.

Organizers said a huge protest on June 16 may have attracted up to two million people, or roughly a quarter of the city’s population.

Beijing’s refusal to discuss Hong Kong at an international event is not unusual. The Chinese government regularly denounces attempts to bring up domestic issues at global forums.

So far public statements from Beijing have been supportive of the Hong Kong government’s attempts to pass the law while blaming foreign forces for the widespread public protests.

“We want to say this loudly: Pull back the black hand you have shown. Hong Kong is China’s domestic affair. You shouldn’t interfere in Hong Kong,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.