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Protesters allege Beijing meddling in HK affairs

Protesters carry mock Chinese PLA tanks during a rally in downtown Hong Kong, Sunday, April 1, 2012. Thousands of people marched from Hong Kong's central business district towards the Chinese central government's liaison office to protest against Beijing's involvement in Hong Kong's chief executive election last Sunday. Initially considered the underdog, Leung Chun-ying gained the support of China's Communist leaders, who backed off their deeply unpopular first choice, Henry Tang. Protesters carry mock Chinese PLA tanks during a rally in downtown Hong Kong, Sunday, April 1, 2012. Thousands of people marched from Hong Kong's central business district towards the Chinese central government's liaison office to protest against Beijing's involvement in Hong Kong's chief executive election last Sunday. Initially considered the underdog, Leung Chun-ying gained the support of China's Communist leaders, who backed off their deeply unpopular first choice, Henry Tang. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
April 1, 2012
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HONG KONG—Thousands in Hong Kong have protested against alleged meddling by Beijing in the recent selection of the city's next leader.

Police used pepper spray Sunday on some protesters who tried to break past barricades around the Chinese central government's liaison office in the semiautonomous region. Police estimated about 5,300 people took part in the march. They chanted pro-democracy slogans and burned a Hong Kong flag.

It was the first major demonstration since Leung Chun-ying was chosen a week ago to be Hong Kong's next chief executive. He won 689 of 1,132 votes cast by a 1,200-seat committee packed with Beijing loyalists.

Rally organizers accused Beijing of interfering with the poll despite promising the former British colony a high degree of autonomy.

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