China's President Xi Jinping has appealed to Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to advocate unity and maintain social and political stability, state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday (21 November). Both the leaders were in Peru's capital of Lima to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.

The meeting between the two came amid Beijing's growing concern at Hong Kong's freedom movement. Xi reportedly offered Leung and his government full support and said he believed Leung "resolutely upholds national unity and maintains social and political stability".

The former British colony's chief executive claimed Xi made "forceful" comments on the issue of Hong Kong's freedom.

"Very simply put and very forcefully, the president said there is no room whatsoever for Hong Kong independence under the 'one country, two systems' arrangement," Leung said.

Hong Kong has been affected by protests after Beijing barred two recently elected pro-democracy lawmakers — Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung — from the city's legislature, after it discovered they had insulted China when taking their oath of office.

Yau and Sixtus repeatedly refused to pledge loyalty to China when being sworn in, and used offensive words for Beijing. They are also said to have displayed a banner declaring "Hong Kong is not China" during the official ceremony.

Beijing later issued an interpretation of Hong Kong's Basic Law asserting that any official who does not swear the oath properly cannot take office and disqualified the two from their posts.

Hong Kong's high court also supported Beijing's decision last week and barred them from acting as legislators.

APEC Summit
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet (L), China's President Xi Jinping (R) and Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying sit together during the Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Lima, Peru REUTERS/Guadalupe Pardo