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.