Veteran democracy fighter Martin Lee Chu-ming appealed to the Canadian government to stand with those struggling for democracy in Hong Kong when he testified before lawmakers in Ottawa over the objections of Beijing. "I hope the Canadian government and the Canadian Parliament will speak up for us at this difficult stage," Lee told the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday. "If Hong Kong were to go down the slippery slope as now, Hong Kong will become just another Chinese city," said Lee, a former legislator and the founding chairman of the Democratic Party. Lee had visited London and Washington in the last year to push for international pressure on Beijing to implement open elections in Hong Kong. Like those previous visits, his meeting sparked a protest from Beijing. Ambassador Luo Zhaohui wrote to committee chairman Dean Allison and other Canadian officials voicing "deep concern and strong opposition" to the committee's plan to hear from Lee. "Hong Kong's political development falls entirely within China's domestic affairs. The Chinese side resolutely opposes any foreign governments, institutions and individuals to interfere in Hong Kong affairs," Luo wrote. "In consideration of the sensitive and complicated situation in Hong Kong, we hope that the Canadian side will not hold such a hearing, not intervene in Hong Kong's internal affairs in any form, so as not to send wrong signals to the outside world and cause any disturbance to China-Canada relations." Allison did not directly address Luo's letter, but welcomed Lee at the start of the hearing as a "champion of human rights". Lee said Beijing could not properly accuse Ottawa of interfering in Hong Kong affairs since it had lobbied for international support of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which paved the way for the 1997 handover. Peter Goldring, a member of the committee, said the Chinese ambassador's letter only made him want to dig more into the question of democracy in Hong Kong. "It's heavy-handed," said Goldring, a member of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party. "I think it's clumsy diplomacy."