Hong Kong riot police used tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters who flocked to the streets of Hong Kong on New Year's Day.
READ MORE: Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for Hong Kong to return to stability following months of pro-democracy protests.
In a New Year's address Tuesday evening, Xi said a peaceful, harmonious environment was key to the Asian financial hub's prosperity.
"Hong Kong's prosperity and stability is the wish of Hong Kong compatriots and the expectation for the people of the motherland," Xi said in the televised address.
The protests broke out in June over proposed legislation that could have extradited suspects in Hong Kong to face trials in mainland China.