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Hong Kong Leader Tells Residents to Be More Like Sheep

FILE - Leung Chun-ying at a press conference.

Hong Kong's pro-Beijing leader has called on the city's residents, who staged mass pro-democracy protests last year, to be more like sheep in 2015.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying made the comments Wednesday in an address to mark the year of the sheep. "Sheep are widely seen to be mild and gentle animals living peacefully in groups," said Leung, who is nicknamed "The Wolf" by his opponents.

"Last year was no easy ride for Hong Kong. Our society was rife with differences and conflicts. In the coming year, I hope that all people in Hong Kong will take inspiration from the sheep's character and pull together in an accommodating manner to work for Hong Kong's future," he said.

Tens of thousands of protesters shut down key streets in Hong Kong for two-and-a-half months beginning in late September. The protesters want Leung to resign and Beijing to reverse its decision to screen candidates for the territory's 2017 election.

Authorities in Beijing declared the camps illegal and eventually had them cleared by police without granting the demonstrators any concessions.