Beijing wants Britain, which handed Hong Kong back to the Chinese in 1997, to stay out of the former colony’s affairs. Chinese officials are demanding that London abandon an inquiry into the progress of democratic reforms in the “special administrative region.” The rebuff is hardly a surprise: In recent days China has been stung by large protests in Hong Kong over Beijing’s refusal to allow the city open nominations for the election of its next chief executive, and does not want more criticism. The British and Chinese had agreed Hong Kong would have “a high degree of autonomy” for 50 years, and the British foreign secretary gives parliament a report on the territory every six months. None of their business, says Beijing.
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