China envoy says reporting on protests distorted

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HONG KONG (AP) The Chinese ambassador to Britain has accused news media of distorting their reports about Hong Kong protests against a wildly unpopular extradition bill, insisting that the territory's authorities initiated the proposed legal change, not Beijing.

In an interview with the BBC, Liu Xiaoming said "the whole story has been distorted" by media including the BBC.

"You portrayed the story as the Hong Kong government made this amendment on the instruction of the Beijing government. As a matter of fact, Beijing - the central government - gave no instruction, no order about the making of this amendment."

Liu added that China is upholding the "one country, two systems" principle under which Hong Kong is semi-autonomous and that the system has been successful.

Hong Kong protesters have staged massive demonstrations against the extradition bill, which would allow suspects to be tried in mainland Chinese courts.

The proposal has triggered the most serious political crisis in the city in decades.