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Chinese leader tells Obama Hong Kong protests ‘internal matter’

Chinese President Xi Jinping said the protests, dubbed the Umbrella Revolution, are “illegal” and insisted that law and order must be restored

BEIJING, November 12. /TASS/. The protests in the special administrative region of Hong Kong are a purely “internal matter,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday at a meeting with his US counterpart Barack Obama.

The Chinese leader said the protests, dubbed the Umbrella Revolution, which have paralyzed streets for over six weeks, are “illegal” and insisted that law and order must be restored.

Xi warned foreign countries against meddling into the Hong Kong protests, demanding the right to freely choose their own leader in the landmark election due in 2017.

President Obama said Washington has no role in the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. "I was unequivocal in saying that the US had no involvement in fostering the protests that took place in Hong Kong," Obama was quoted by AFP as saying.

Meanwhile, Obama said that “US will encourage people's right to express themselves and that elections in Hong Kong are reflective of the will of the people there.”

{article_slideshow:754054:'Scuffles erupt in Hong Kong as anti-protest groups break down barricades':'right':'50'}Protests in Hong Kong

In late September-October, Hong Kong, a former British colony, was hit by pro-democracy protests, with demonstrators calling to revise the procedure approved by the parliament on holding elections of chief executive in 2017.

China insisted that candidates should be first approved by a special committee, while protesters believe this is an undemocratic procedure.

In late October, Hong Kong's chief executive Leung Chun-ying accused external forces from various countries of attempting to destabilize the situation in the Asian financial center.

The Hong Kong leader stressed that the Occupy Central movement is already “out of control even for the people who started it.”