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BERLIN, October 10. /TASS/. The recent protests in Hong Kong, the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, are China's internal affair, the country's Prime Minister Li Keqiang said on Friday.
"The Chinese government will protect Hong Kong residents," as well as the legitimate interests of all foreign investors in the global financial hub, Li told a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"Maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong is not only in China's interests, but is mostly in the interests of the people of Hong Kong," he added,
"The central government of China has always had the guiding principle — one country, two systems," Li said, stressing that there will be no change to this policy.
Merkel expressed hope that the protests that began in late September will remain peaceful.
The Hong Kong protesters are demanding free elections and the resignation of the chief executive, Leung Chun-ying. The movement has been dubbed "the Umbrella Revolution" after many people started using umbrellas to protect themselves from pepper spray and tear gas, as well as to cope with oppressive heat.