China on Saturday accused UK human rights chief Michelle Bachelet of “inappropriate” interference in the country’s affairs after she called for investigations into alleged excessive use of force by police in Hong Kong.
China’s mission to the UN in Geneva said an op-ed written by Bachelet in the South China Morning Post was “erroneous” and “violates the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”
Earlier on Saturday, Bachelet urged authorities in Hong Kong to conduct “a proper independent and impartial judge-led investigation into reports of excessive use of force by the police.”
China’s mission further said to Bachelet’s article that “will only embolden the rioters to conduct more severe radical violence.”
Earlier in the month, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed a “high degree trust” in Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam after the two met in Shanghai months after the city has been shaken by protests that pitted locals against the police.
Hong Kong’s protests started in June against proposals to allow extradition to mainland China, a move many feared would undermine the city’s judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
In September, the city’s embattled leader Carrie Lam had warned the United States not to “interfere” with her government’s response to the city’s pro-democracy movement after fresh protests called on Washington to ramp up pressure on Beijing.
In 2018, the Hong Kong government had disqualified the candidacy of another pro-democracy activist, Agnes Chow, for the Legislative Council by-election in March of the same year due to her stance on advocating self-determination for the former British colony.
The controversial China extradition bill was withdrawn in early September but the movement has morphed into a wider campaign for greater democracy and against alleged police brutality.