China urges U.S. to stop sending wrong signals to Hong Kong ‘violent separatists’

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FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators shout slogans at a group of people opposing the anti-government protesters, during a demonstration in support of the city-wide strike and to call for democratic reforms in Hong Kong, China, August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Hong Kong office of China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday lodged stern representations with the United States, urging U.S. officials to stop sending wrong signals to the “violent separatists” in Hong Kong.

China also asked the United States to issue clarifications on media reports that U.S. officials are in contact with leaders among the separatists, the office of the commissioner of China’s foreign ministry in Hong Kong said on its website.

Hong Kong has been hit by weeks of sometimes violent protests that began with opposition to a now-suspended extradition law that would have allowed suspects to be tried in mainland courts. The protests have grown into a broader backlash against the city’s government and its political masters in Beijing.