Britain has breached its international obligations by interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs, Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming said on Tuesday.
Liu made the remarks during an online briefing with representatives from the Chinese and British business communities on the fifth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee in late October.
In response to a question on London's recent criticism of Beijing over Hong Kong, the ambassador said it is Britain, not China, that has violated its international obligations.
The British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) recently accused China of breaching its international obligations and the Sino-British Joint Declaration, following Chinese lawmakers' decision on the qualification of members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
Liu stressed that the decision was "reasonable and legitimate" and consistent with China's Constitution and the HKSAR Basic Law.
Noting that China was the first country to sign the United Nations Charter 75 years ago, Liu said the country has always adhered to the charter and has fulfilled its international obligations.
China has joined almost all inter-governmental organizations and signed over 500 international conventions, the diplomat said.
"There is no evidence to indicate China's violation of its international obligations," Liu said. "On the contrary, it was Britain that has breached its international obligations."
He explained that sovereign equality, mutual respect and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs are basic principles enshrined in the UN Charter.
"Britain has interfered in Hong Kong affairs and China's domestic affairs, which is a violation of its international obligations," he said.
The fundamental reason for the current difficulties in China-UK relations is that the basic principles governing international relations – mutual respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in each other's internal affairs – have been violated, Liu said.
"China still attaches great importance to its ties with the UK," he said. "Sound China-UK relations not only benefit people in the two countries but also contribute to peace and stability in the world."
He called on Britain to meet China halfway and jointly bring bilateral ties back on the right track.