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China lashes out at Freeland over response to protests in Hong Kong



OTTAWA — Protests raging in Hong Kong are threatening to become yet another irritant in Canada’s fraught relationship with China.

China’s embassy in Canada is denouncing the Canadian government’s recent comments on the ongoing protests as “irresponsible” and “erroneous.”

That appears to be a reference to a statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, which expresses Canada’s concern over the unrest and describes freedom of expression and assembly as the “bedrock” of society in Hong Kong.

Protesters in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory have been out in force in recent days over a proposed extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to China for trial.

Today’s statement from the Chinese embassy accuses Canada of interfering in the affairs of the region and urges Ottawa to get behind the proposed law.

Freeland says any legislation should preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy, judicial independence and rule of law.

The Canadian Press

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