British lawmakers have condemned China for blocking a parliamentary fact-finding trip to Hong Kong.

The Chinese government has prevented representatives of Britain's Foreign Affairs Select Committee from going to Hong Kong as tensions rise over ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations there.

Committee Chairman Richard Ottaway said Tuesday the Chinese decision amounts to an attack on the people of the free world. He said China was failing to act like a responsible member of the Group of 20.

Former foreign secretary Malcom Rifkind told Parliament that China's actions violate its agreement with Britain for the 1997 handover of the former colony.

They spoke at an emergency debate in Parliament called to deal with the deteriorating relations between the two countries.