China's Xi tells Cy Leung to uphold Hong Kong unity

China's President Xi Jinping, centre, waiting for the group photo to be taken at the annual APEC summit in Lima, Peru, Sunday 20 November 2016. Image copyright AP
Image caption Both men are in Lima, Peru for an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit

China's President Xi Jinping has called on Hong Kong's Chief Executive CY Leung to uphold national unity.

The meeting, on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Peru, comes amid growing concern in Beijing at Hong Kong's independence movement.

Hong Kong has been hit with protests after Beijing intervened to bar two pro-independence lawmakers from office.

Mr Leung said Mr Xi had "forcefully" told him there was "no room whatsoever for Hong Kong independence".

President Xi offered Mr Leung's administration his full support but said he hoped Mr Leung "resolutely upholds national unity and maintains social and political stability", reported Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Large pro-Beijing protests have also been held in Hong Kong

The meeting follows months of tension over two pro-independence politicians elected to Hong Kong's legislative chamber.

Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung repeatedly refused to pledge allegiance to Beijing when being sworn in, using derogatory terms for China while taking their oaths.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Yau Wai-ching holds up the Hong Kong court ruling barring her from office

Beijing later issued an interpretation of Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's mini constitution, to say that any official who does not swear the oath properly cannot take office, effectively barring the pair.

Hong Kong's High Court last week reinforced that interpretation.

Ms Yau and Mr Leung condemned the ruling, saying it showed that Hong Kong elections were "meaningless".

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