Beijing: China today bluntly told Britain to stay out of Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, asserting that the UK no longer has any right to supervision nor any moral obligation after it handed over the former British colony in 1997.
"Following the return of Hong Kong the British side has no sovereignty, no administrative power and no right of supervision towards Hong Kong and there is no such thing as moral obligation," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told media.
She was replying to allegations from British lawmakers that China's denial of visas to UK parliamentarians to visit Hong Kong violated the 1984 agreement with Britain for the handover of its former colony.
"Some people from British side attempt to use the so called moral obligation to mislead the public and interfere in China's domestic affairs," Hua said adding that "this kind of unacceptable act is doomed to failure."
"Hong Kong has already returned to China in 1997. It is Special Administrative Region of China. The 1984 joint statement has clearly specified the obligations and rights of China and (the) UK in terms of the resumption of sovereignty towards Hong Kong and the relevant arrangements in the transitional period," she said.
China has rebuffed Britain by denying visas to a UK lawmakers' delegation to visit Hong Kong, which is reeling under an almost two-month-long street protests.
The refusal complicates efforts to reset British-China ties that were plunged into difficulties after Cameron met the Dalai Lama at Downing Street in 2012.
The students-led protests erupted initially as street occupations in September against a new rule brought out by China to screen candidates to contest the 2017 elections for the post of Chief Executive in Hong Kong.
Thousands of students blocked key streets demanding the repeal of the rule and implement the promise to hold the universal suffrage without any conditions by Beijing.
Hua's comments came as three key leaders of the pro-democracy movement surrendered to police today.
Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming regarded as the founders of Hong Kong's Occupy Central movement said they turned themselves to the police as they wanted to take responsibility for protests deemed illegal by authorities.
But after a brief meeting they left without being arrested or charged.
The protests reached a dead-end as China refused any talks on the rollback of the rule to vet the candidates and backed the present Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
China, which is wary about the protests spreading to other parts, also denied permission to the leaders of the protesting groups to visit Beijing to meet top Chinese leadership.