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China rallies behind Hong Kong’s embattled chief

CHINA PHOTO20190617191909_l

Beijing, June 17 (IANS) China on Monday rallied behind Hong Kong’s beleaguered chief executive, facing a growing clamour for her resignation over the controversial extradition bill.

Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous city of China, plunged into its worst political crisis after it sought to pass a Beijing-backed law that would have allowed extradition to the mainland.

The proposed legislation has triggered vociferous public protests in the former British colony where people see it a Beijing’s ploy to tighten its grip on the city that has its own legal system and police.

Even though Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has suspended the legislation, Sunday saw millions of protesters pouring into streets and demanding that Beijing-backed official step down.

When asked if the mainland supported Hong Kong’s chief, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Beijing had always supported the city’s administration and its top official.

"As to the communication and relations between the central government and SAR (special autonomous regions) governments, this is totally China’s internal affairs, but you may also contact the Hong Kong and the Macau administrations," said Ministry’s spokesperson Lu Kang.

"The official of that office has made it clear that the Chinese central government always affirms the work of the SAR governments and the chief executive," Lu said.

Lu also said, "many facts have indicated that the relevant governments or even foreign politicians have been issuing inciting remarks since February after the law was proposed".

The crisis is the biggest in Hong Kong since 1997 when Britain handed it over to China under "one country, two systems" that would continue until 2047.

Many in Hong Kong accuse the mainland of meddling in the territory’s internal affairs as Chinese President Xi Jinping becomes stronger.