Chinese President Hu Jintao got a warm reception visiting Hong Kong to swear in a new chief executive on Sunday.
Protestors surrounded the conference centre where Hu was guest at a formal reception, angry at the death in hospital earlier this month of activist Li Wangyang. One of the first advocates of independent labour unions in China, he was found hanged. The authorities say he committed suicide.
Li’s family have called on President Hu to investigate the death.
Hong Kong is fighting to preserve its limited democracy and wants to ensure the Chinese do not renege on their promise of a directly-elected leader by 2017. The protesters accuse Beijing of interfering in academic, legal, political, electoral and media spheres.
One journalist was detained for 15 minutes by police for shouting a slogan at Hu, and his colleagues fought scuffles with police to get him freed.