China on Tuesday refuted remarks by U.S. and British officials regarding the latest riot in Hong Kong, calling the remarks a reflection of hypocrisy and double standards.
It was reported that an unnamed senior U.S. official said Monday the U.S. condemned "unjustified use of deadly force" in Hong Kong violence, claiming the police and civilians alike "have a responsibility to de-escalate and avoid violent confrontations."
The statement was made after a Hong Kong police officer shot a protester who attempted to snatch his gun.
U.K. Prime Minister's Downing Street Office earlier also urged all sides to be calm and exercise restraint, adding that the prime minister supported "the right to peaceful protests."
"If you watch the video clip, you will see clearly that the rioters assaulted the police first and the officer's response was fully lawful," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.
Geng told a press briefing that grabbing police firearms, assaulting or threatening officers on duty were absolutely forbidden in any country and would be dealt with strong police force.
"I want to ask the U.S. and British officials: How would their police deal with similar situations in their countries?" Geng said.
Speaking about a civilian who was set on fire by rioters for publicly expressing his objections to vandalism by the rioters, Geng said the remarks from Washington and London exposed their hypocrisy and double standards.
"If they truly oppose violence and call for restraint, like what they said, then why didn't they strongly condemn such attack on ordinary civilians?"
Geng called attention to the fact that the U.S. government official refused to reveal his name. "I'm afraid they felt embarrassed themselves in making such remarks."
"Ending violence and restoring order is the paramount task in Hong Kong," Geng said, urging the U.S. and the U.K. to respect China's sovereignty and exercise prudence on Hong Kong-related issues and stop meddling in China's internal affairs.