Executive councillor Cheng Yiu-tong has apologised to the public for his contradictory remarks that Hong Kong protesters' radical actions had shocked state authorities. On Wednesday morning, Cheng commented on the New Year's Day march for universal suffrage. He said the fact that some participants had clashed with police and charged towards the central government's liaison office during the rally was 'shocking to Beijing', warning this would be unhelpful for the city's electoral reforms. His comment was soon broadcast on various television and radio channels. Hours later, when he gave a press conference for the Alliance for Constitutional Development, he denied having said Beijing was shocked. The original remark and later denial by Cheng - a Hong Kong delegate to the National People's Congress and the president of the Federation of Trade Unions - hit the headlines. 'I am sorry for having caused misunderstanding,' he said yesterday. He said the contradiction had been a result of his bad memory, and had nothing to do with his credibility. 'There were many questions posed to me at the press conference yesterday. At that time I thought I hadn't used the word 'shocking'. Later I found it out on the internet ... I was shocked by my serious memory decay,' Cheng said. 'I did not expect the overwhelming reactions to the word 'shocking'. I wasn't thinking carefully when I used it.' Nevertheless, Cheng again yesterday described the clash as 'shocking' to Beijing but said that was his own opinion, based on his knowledge of national affairs. He said he had not heard any comments from mainland officials regarding last Friday's rally. He also said radical protests were a 'dead end' that could not lead to progress in constitutional development. The central government would not respond to demands expressed in such ways and there was no room for Beijing to make any compromise in Hong Kong's political reform, he said. Former NPC deputy Allen Lee Peng-fei echoed the comment Cheng made on Wednesday. 'I believe you were right. From what I have heard, the central government was caught by surprise,' Lee said as he interviewed Cheng on RTHK. Cheng Yiu-tong's comments Wednesday morning, after a radio interview: The status of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong is like an embassy of the Foreign Ministry. You clashed with the office in this manner. This was very shocking to Beijing. Wednesday afternoon, at a press conference on constitutional reform: I didn't use the word 'shocking'. What I meant was, Beijing would ask whether Hong Kong people had changed their way of expression. Thursday afternoon, after a TV interview: There were many questions posed to me at the press conference yesterday and at that time I thought I hadn't used the word 'shocking'. Later, I found it on the internet ... I was shocked by my serious memory decay.