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Beijing official faces rare show of defiance in Hong Kong on decision to limit vote reform

  • China Hong Kong-1.jpg

    Pro-democracy lawmaker Lee Cheuk Yan, center, is taken away by security guards after a protest against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress' Standing Committee, in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. China's legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong's leader, saying they would create a "chaotic society." Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city "will definitely happen." (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) (The Associated Press)

  • China Hong Kong-2.jpg

    A security guard, bottom left, tries to stop pro-democracy lawmakers protesting against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress' Standing Committee, during a briefing session in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. China's legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong's leader, saying they would create a "chaotic society." Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city "will definitely happen." The banner reads "Protest against Central government breaking a promise, shame on deprivation of democracy." (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) (The Associated Press)

  • China Hong Kong-3.jpg

    Pro-democracy lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai, left, raises a placard which reads " Central Government break the promise " and other lawmakers protest against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress' Standing Committee, during a briefing session in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. China's legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong's leader, saying they would create a "chaotic society." Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city "will definitely happen." (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) (The Associated Press)

  • China Hong Kong-4.jpg

    Pro-democracy lawmaker Cyd Ho, center, is taken away by security guards after a protest against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. China's legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong's leader, saying they would create a "chaotic society." Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city "will definitely happen." (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) (The Associated Press)

  • China Hong Kong-5.jpg

    Pro-democracy lawmaker Fernando Cheung holds a placard which reads " Central Government break the promise " as he protests against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, during a briefing session in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. China's legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong's leader, saying they would create a "chaotic society." Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city "will definitely happen." (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) (The Associated Press)

Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators have disrupted a Beijing official's speech as he sought to explain a decision to tightly limit voting reforms for the southern Chinese financial hub.

They chanted slogans and held up placards accusing China's central government of "breaking its promise" to let Hong Kong directly elect its leader.

The noisy demonstration at the start of Li Fei's address was a rare occasion on which a Beijing official faced open defiance.

Li is a deputy secretary general of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, or legislature. He continued his speech after security officers hustled the lawmakers out of the auditorium.

On Sunday Beijing inflamed political tension by ruling out open nominations of candidates running for Hong Kong's top job in inaugural elections in 2017.