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Hong Kong leader given support from Beijing

China underscored its support for Hong Kong's unpopular leader as he visited Beijing in the wake of pro-democracy protests in the southern Chinese city.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (inset) met President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang yesterday less than two weeks after police cleared a final protest camp and ended demonstrations that had blocked traffic for two months.

However, police arrested 49 people during the previous two nights as some protesters returned to the streets demanding open nominations for the semi-autonomous city's top official.

Xi told Leung that the central government was satisfied with his work over the past year promoting political reform, economic development, improving people's livelihoods and maintaining "the governance of law to ensure the overall stability of Hong Kong".

Xi added that he hoped people from all walks of life in Hong Kong would "achieve a common understanding" and preserve social stability, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.