China has expressed regret over the defeat of Hong Kong's controversial Beijing-backed electoral plans.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Thursday told reporters that the result of the vote in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory was something Beijing was "unwilling to see."

Following a lengthy debate, 28 lawmakers voted against the proposals, which had sparked huge street protests in the southern Chinese city last year. Eight others voted in favor.

Lu reiterated Beijing's backing of its proposals under which Hong Kong residents would have been able in 2017 to vote directly for the chief executive, but only after candidates had been vetted and approved by Beijing.

And he said that since Hong Kong was a part of China, the issue was a domestic issue with no other countries permitted to intervene.