China on Monday lashed out at the United States for voicing alarm over the jailing of leaders of Hong Kong's democracy movement, calling Washington's comments a "gross interference".
Four prominent activists were last week jailed for their role in the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests, which paralysed Hong Kong's central business district for months and infuriated Beijing with its show of anger over the city's leadership and direction.
The US State Department on Friday said it was "disappointed" by the jailing and called on the city to respect residents' rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.
"We expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to these comments," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.
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