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Hong Kong protests

China will 'not allow' G-20 to discuss Hong Kong: senior official

Demonstrations 'purely an internal affair,' Beijing insists

Protesters carry British flags as they block the lobby of the Hong Kong Revenue Tower in Hong Kong on June 24.   © AP

BEIJING -- The Chinese government is determined to keep the recent demonstrations in Hong Kong off the table at the Group of 20 summit in Japan later this week, a senior Foreign Ministry official indicated Monday.

"What I can tell you for sure is that the G-20 will not discuss the Hong Kong issue," said Zhang Jun, assistant minister of foreign affairs, in response to a question at a press briefing here.

"We will not allow G-20 to discuss the Hong Kong issue," he insisted.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the summit, scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Osaka. Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump will have dinner on the sidelines.

"Hong Kong is China's special administrative region," Zhang said. "Hong Kong matters are purely an internal affair for China."

"No matter at what venue, using any method, we will not permit any country or person to interfere in China's internal affairs," he said.

The Trump administration is expected to raise the issue at the G-20.

Prominent pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong told the Nikkei Asian Review in a recent interview that G-20 leaders should take up the issue in Osaka and ask Xi why Hong Kong police were allowed to use rubber bullets on demonstrators.

Zhang, meanwhile, said China will oppose protectionism and push for unity and economic cooperation in Osaka. "We are ready to work with all sides to firmly safeguard multilateralism, safeguard international order based on international law, and safeguard international fairness and justice," he said.

Zhang said Xi will also meet with Russian and Indian leaders; leaders of the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; and African leaders.

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