China defends ban on Hong Kong pro-independence party
"Certain countries and institutions have made numerous and irresponsible remarks on the Hong Kong SAR (special administrative region) government's move to ban the Hong Kong National Party," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
"We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this," Geng told a regular news briefing, adding that countries should "stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and Chinese internal affairs under the pretext of freedom of speech."
Police requested the party ban in July under the Societies Ordinance, which stipulates groups can be prohibited in the interests of national security and public safety.
The bid, the first since the city's 1997 handover to China, was slammed by rights groups.
The police application thrust the small party, with a core membership of only around a dozen, back into the headlines.
It gained additional prominence when its leader Andrew Chan gave a high-profile talk at the city's press club which Beijing also tried in vain to stop.
But the space for dissent is shrinking in the face of an increasingly assertive China under President Xi Jinping.
"This is totally Hong Kong's affair, as well as China's internal affairs, and has no room for foreign interference," he added.