BEIJING (Dispatches) -- China on Friday warned the U.S. and several of its allies over interference in Hong Kong affairs, saying they "should face up to the reality” that the city has been returned to the mainland long ago.
The U.S., the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have together made up an intelligence partnership known as the Five Eyes.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reacted to the alliance, saying they need to face the reality that the city is an inalienable part of the mainland.
"No matter if they have five eyes or 10 eyes, if they dare to harm China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, they should beware of their eyes being poked and blinded,” he said.
Zhao said that Hong Kong officials must "be loyal to the motherland. This is a basic political ethic in every country in the world, right?”
Hong Kong has been governed under the "one-country, two-system” model since the city — a former British colony — was returned to China in 1997.
Earlier this month, authorities in the city disqualified four opposition lawmakers under a resolution authorizing the city to expel legislators deemed dangerous to national security. The resolution allows authorities to bypass the court system to unseat lawmakers.
The Five Eyes described the new resolution as "part of a concerted campaign to silence all critical voices.”
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, however, supported the legislation, saying that those lawmakers who did "not fulfill the requirement and the prerequisite for serving on the Legislative Council” could not be allowed to continue serving on it.
Hong Kong was rocked by riots over a bill that would have reformed its extradition law last year. Violent individuals vandalized the city, destroying public and private property and attacking anyone deemed to be pro-government. Hong Kong dropped that bill, but the acts of violence continued.
Earlier this year, the city enacted a new national security law, criminalizing sedition, secession, and subversion against the mainland.
Some opposition lawmakers openly called for Western intervention to stop the law from being enacted in the city and canvassed in favor of secession from mainland China.
The United States actively supported the protest leaders and attempted to stir up anti-China sentiments in the city.