Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday she has never asked the Chinese government to let her resign to end the city's political crisis, responding to a Reuters report about a voice recording of her saying she would step down if she could.
"I have never tendered any resignation," Lam said at a televised news conference, adding that she was very disappointed details of a private meeting were leaked.
Lam said it was down to her whether to stay on in her position, adding she believed her Hong Kong government could solve the crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets since mid-June in protests at a now-suspended extradition bill which would see people sent to mainland China for trial in Communist Party controlled courts.
The protesters call for greater democracy are a direct challenge to Beijing, which has accused foreign powers, particularly the United States and Britain, of fomenting the unrest.