China has condemned the recent anti-government protests in Hong Kong as “horrendous incidents” that have caused “serious damage to the rule of law”.
Hong Kong has seen eight consecutive weekends of anti-government and pro-democracy protests.
There were violent clashes over the weekend between police and protesters.
In a rare statement the spokesman condemned “the evil and criminal acts committed by the radical elements” in Hong Kong.
As a former British colony, Hong Kong has its own legal and judicial systems, and has been promised “a high degree of autonomy” from the Chinese government, except in foreign and defence affairs.
Demonstrations began when the Hong Kong government introduced a controversial bill that would have enabled extraditions to mainland China.
There have been clashes near China’s liaison office in the territory
It sparked huge protests as critics feared the bill would undermine Hong Kong’s freedoms, and be used to target political activists.
The row intensified as police were accused of using excessive force on anti-extradition bill protesters.
Tensions increased further last Sunday, when suspected triad members descended on a subway station in Yuen Long, beating protesters, passersby and journalists with sticks.