The new chief secretary has rejected protesters' claims that Beijing has interfered in Hong Kong's internal affairs in contravention of the 'one country, two systems' principle. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said yesterday that she could find no evidence from her experience in the administration to support the frequently levelled accusation that the 'Western District is ruling Hong Kong' - a reference to the location of the central government's liaison office. 'That could never happen because the government is accountable to the public,' the former secretary for development said. Lam insisted that the boundary between the two systems, as outlined in the Basic Law, was very clear and she promised to uphold the principle in her coming five years in office. 'I think the liaison office's intention was to express care,' she said. Her comments on Commercial Radio contrasted with the strongly expressed views of some of the up to 400,000 protesters in the annual July 1 march that mainland authorities had interfered in the city's affairs and the chief executive election. New chief executive Leung Chun-ying fuelled these fears with an hour-long visit to the liaison office a day after he won the job in March. Pan-democrats accused him of thanking liaison office staff for canvassing for him, but Leung said the visit was to prepare for his trip to Beijing to accept the appointment. 'The backing of the mainland is one of the strengths of Hong Kong 15 years after the handover,' Lam said yesterday. 'The use of labels like 'pro-China' or 'leftists' nowadays is outdated. It is no cause for criticism if the central government's institutions based in Hong Kong express care about the city's affairs.' Legal sector lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee disagreed. 'I think Lam's experience was very different from the public's, as there was clear evidence that the liaison office interfered in the chief-executive election,' she said. But former secretary for justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie said the liaison office's operations had been in accordance with the standards stated in the Basic Law. In the US, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to comment directly when asked whether the US had been asked to help Hong Kong prevent interference from the mainland. 'We support the right to peaceful protest and dialogue to solve issues.' Meanwhile, Lam said she did not have ambitions to be the next chief executive because she had promised her husband, Lam Siu-por - who persuaded her to accept the job as Leung's No 2 - that she would quit public service in five years.