BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday lodged solemn protests with Britain over the meetings between high-ranking British officials and the Hong Kong opposition.
"What Britain has done is interference in China's internal affairs. China strongly opposes it," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei Wednesday in a press release.
Hong's comment came as Nick Clegg, British Deputy Prime Minister and Hugo Swire, a minister of state with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British government, met with Hong Kong's former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, and former Hong Kong Legislative Council member Martin Lee Chu-ming.
"Hong Kong's affairs fall within China's internal affairs. China firmly opposes any interference in Hong Kong affairs by any country under whatever pretext," said Hong.
The practice of "one country, two systems" has achieved great success in Hong Kong in the past 17 years since its return to the motherland, which is recognized by all, Hong said.
China urged the British side to respect China's stance and concerns and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any means, he said.
The British side should take effective measures to eliminate the ill effects caused by the meetings, and make concrete efforts to safeguard the China-Britain relationship and cooperation, Hong added.