The public rebuke followed reports on Monday that Chinese authorities had written to the parliamentary foreign affairs select committee to demand the probe be dropped. "Hong Kong has returned to the motherland," China's foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Tuesday. "Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.
Gang said British MPs had "addressed inquiries" to China on the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which set out arrangements for the 1997 transfer of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. "It is justifiable for the Chinese side to express our solemn position on this issue," Qin added at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
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