Asia

Hong Kong in lockdown as Chinese official attends meeting

  • A pro-democracy activist, right, waves banner and shout slogans against pro-government protesters, left, outside the convention center where the Chinese Communist Party's third-highest ranking official, Zhang Dejiang, gave a speech during a visit to Hong Kong, Wednesday, May 18, 2016.  Hong Kong authorities rolled out a massive security operation on Tuesday as they braced for protests during a top Beijing official's visit to the semiautonomous city, where tensions are rising over Chinese rule.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    A pro-democracy activist, right, waves banner and shout slogans against pro-government protesters, left, outside the convention center where the Chinese Communist Party's third-highest ranking official, Zhang Dejiang, gave a speech during a visit to Hong Kong, Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Hong Kong authorities rolled out a massive security operation on Tuesday as they braced for protests during a top Beijing official's visit to the semiautonomous city, where tensions are rising over Chinese rule.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, Zhang Dejiang gives speech at the Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong, Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The top Beijing official is on a visit to the semiautonomous city, where tensions are rising over Chinese rule. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, Zhang Dejiang gives speech at the Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong, Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The top Beijing official is on a visit to the semiautonomous city, where tensions are rising over Chinese rule. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pro-democracy activists hold placards during a protest outside the convention center where Chinese Communist Party's third-highest ranking official, Zhang Dejiang, gave a speech during a visit to Hong Kong, Wednesday, May 18, 2016.  Hong Kong authorities rolled out a massive security operation on Tuesday as they braced for protests during a top Beijing official's visit to the semiautonomous city, where tensions are rising over Chinese rule.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

    Pro-democracy activists hold placards during a protest outside the convention center where Chinese Communist Party's third-highest ranking official, Zhang Dejiang, gave a speech during a visit to Hong Kong, Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Hong Kong authorities rolled out a massive security operation on Tuesday as they braced for protests during a top Beijing official's visit to the semiautonomous city, where tensions are rising over Chinese rule.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)  (The Associated Press)

Hong Kong authorities have stepped up security as a high-ranking Chinese government official attends a business conference, preventing pro-democracy protesters from getting close to the venue.

Local media said as many as 8,000 police officers were being deployed Wednesday for the visit by Zhang Dejiang, the Communist Party's No. 3 official. He's the most senior Chinese official to come to Hong Kong in five years.

About 100 protesters chanted slogans demanding Beijing stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and burned a sign calling for Zhang to be kicked out of Hong Kong as they marched toward the convention center where Zhang was giving a keynote speech.

The protesters were stopped by a police security cordon that included hundreds of water-filled plastic barriers and metal barricades.