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U.S., China Spar Over Mainland Detention of 12 Hong Kong Activists

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HONG KONG—China’s arrest of 12 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, nabbed as they tried to flee the city by boat in the face of an intensifying crackdown on dissent, is fueling a new war of words between Washington and Beijing.

On Sunday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Twitter that the people detained weren’t seeking democratic freedoms but “elements attempting to separate Hong Kong from China.” Other Chinese officials this weekend accused the U.S. of meddling in China’s internal affairs.

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