World

Hong Kong leader says 'external forces' involved in pro-democracy protests

  • Protesters wear protective gear made by plastic bottle at a barricade in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Three weeks ago, students at a rally stormed a fenced-off courtyard outside Hong Kong's government headquarters, triggering unprecedented mass protests for greater democracy in the semiautonomous Chinese city. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Protesters wear protective gear made by plastic bottle at a barricade in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Three weeks ago, students at a rally stormed a fenced-off courtyard outside Hong Kong's government headquarters, triggering unprecedented mass protests for greater democracy in the semiautonomous Chinese city. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters stand guard behind a barricade at the occupied area in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Three weeks ago, students at a rally stormed a fenced-off courtyard outside Hong Kong's government headquarters, triggering unprecedented mass protests for greater democracy in the semiautonomous Chinese city. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Protesters stand guard behind a barricade at the occupied area in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Three weeks ago, students at a rally stormed a fenced-off courtyard outside Hong Kong's government headquarters, triggering unprecedented mass protests for greater democracy in the semiautonomous Chinese city. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

  • Riot police stand guard at the occupied area in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Three weeks ago, students at a rally stormed a fenced-off courtyard outside Hong Kong's government headquarters, triggering unprecedented mass protests for greater democracy in the semiautonomous Chinese city. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Riot police stand guard at the occupied area in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, early Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. Three weeks ago, students at a rally stormed a fenced-off courtyard outside Hong Kong's government headquarters, triggering unprecedented mass protests for greater democracy in the semiautonomous Chinese city. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

Hong Kong's chief executive says "external forces" are involved in pro-democracy protests that have occupied parts of this financial capital for more than three weeks.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in a televised interview Sunday that "there is obviously participation by people, organizations from outside of Hong Kong." Leung said they came from "different countries in different parts of the world," but didn't specify which countries.

The comments mark the first time Leung has alleged outside involvement in the protests. China's central government has for weeks accused outside groups of stirring up the unrest but has not produced evidence backing up the claims.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students immediately rejected the accusations, with Secretary General Alex Chow saying Leung was "just making it up."