Beijing's top representative in Hong Kong has met with local lawmakers to ease tensions between the mainland and its special administrative region. But he warns against a planned protest and says Hong Kongers will never get to nominate their own leadership candidates without central government approval.

Tuesday's working lunch marked the first meeting between the head of the central government's liaison office and the full membership of Hong Kong's Legislative Council since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Not all lawmakers attended, however, and Beijing's representative Zhang Xiaoming seemed to dampen the mood further by flatly ruling out the right of Hong Kong residents to nominate their own candidates in future elections for chief executive, Hong Kong's top local leader.