Aug. 28 (UPI) -- China condemned a joint statement by leaders of the Group of 7 who called for calm amid ongoing protests in Hong Kong, warning that the semi-autonomous region belongs to China and "no foreign governments, organizations or individuals have any right to interfere."
"I would like to say this to the G7 members: No more meddling with ill intentions," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday during a regular press conference.
On Monday, leaders of the G7, which consists of the United States, Canada, Britain, France and other nations, issued a joint statement following their three-day summit over the weekend in the French city of Biarritz, stating that they support the autonomy of Hong Kong as stated in the 1984 treaty between Britain and China.
"The G7 reaffirms the existence and importance of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 on Hong Kong and calls for violence to be avoided," the statement read, which also contained comments on trade, Iran, Ukraine and Libya.
Geng lashed out at the comments, calling them "wanton" and that the Sino-British Joint Declaration's purpose was to "affirm China's recovering and resumption of exercise of sovereignty over it."
"With the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, the Chinese government exercises jurisdiction over it in accordance with the Constitution and the basic law," he said, adding that "no country or organization has any right to use the declaration as a pretext to meddle in Hong Kong affairs."
Hong Kong was a British colony until it was returned to China in 1997 as stipulated in the Sino-British joint treaty. The treaty also guarantees Hong Kong with a "high degree of autonomy" and that China pledged to maintain for at least the next 50 years.
However, the semi-autonomous region has been rocked by mass protests that started in June and have frequently turned violent as protesters, originally demanding an extradition bill to be withdrawn, have enveloped wider pro-democracy goals viewing the original bill as a chipping away of the freedoms Hong Kong enjoys under the treaty that mainland China does not.
In response to the escalation in violence that has seen hundreds of tear gas canisters fired at protesters and last weekend a police officer firing a warning shot into the air, countries and international organizations have called for both sides to resist resorting to violence while supporting the protesters' right to assembly -- remarks that have raised the ire of China, which has accused them of meddling in its internal affairs.