Europe

Beijing opposes EU report on HK booksellers case

FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 file photo, led by a man holding a sign that reads "missing men," a protester wearing a mask of missing bookseller Lee Bo stands in a cage during a protest against the disappearances of booksellers in Hong Kong after five men associated with a Hong Kong publisher known for books critical of China's leaders have vanished one by one, alarming activists and deepening suspicions that mainland authorities are squeezing free expression in the enclave. Beijing on Tuesday, April 26, told the European Union to stay out of its internal affairs in response to criticism that China’s investigation of five Hong Kong booksellers undermined the territory’s autonomy and damaged its rule of law. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 file photo, led by a man holding a sign that reads "missing men," a protester wearing a mask of missing bookseller Lee Bo stands in a cage during a protest against the disappearances of booksellers in Hong Kong after five men associated with a Hong Kong publisher known for books critical of China's leaders have vanished one by one, alarming activists and deepening suspicions that mainland authorities are squeezing free expression in the enclave. Beijing on Tuesday, April 26, told the European Union to stay out of its internal affairs in response to criticism that China’s investigation of five Hong Kong booksellers undermined the territory’s autonomy and damaged its rule of law. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)  (The Associated Press)

Beijing has told the European Union to stay out of its internal affairs in response to criticism that China's investigation of five Hong Kong booksellers undermined the territory's autonomy and damaged its rule of law.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing Tuesday that the matter is "purely China's internal affairs" and asked the EU to immediately halt what she called unwarranted interference.

Hua accused the EU of making groundless comments and wild allegations in its annual report on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region released Monday.

Chinese authorities put five Hong Kong booksellers under investigation for selling banned politically themed books to customers in mainland China. Two may have been abducted and taken to mainland China for investigation.