Hong Kong government cancels talks with student protesters
Iran Press TV
Thu Oct 9, 2014 2:45PM GMT
The government of Hong Kong has cancelled talks with student protest leaders who have threatened to expand demonstrations until their demands are met.
Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said on Thursday that talks between the government and leaders of anti-election law protests, scheduled for Friday, will not go ahead because they have been "seriously undermined" and are likely to be unconstructive.
"I truly regret that we will not be able to have a meeting tomorrow which will produce any constructive outcome," Lam added.
Student protest leaders have called for supporters to redouble efforts to occupy the main protest zone in Hong Kong that is called the "Umbrella Square."
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Government Leung Chun-ying said the government seeks "a sincere dialogue on political reform," calling on the protesters to stop blocking the streets in the flashpoint district of Mong Kok.
A number of demonstrators, however, remained at the Umbrella Square using umbrellas to resist police pepper spray and tear gas. The umbrellas have become a symbol of the anti-election law protests.
For nearly two weeks, thousands of protesters thronged the streets, demanding that China withdraw its decision to handpick candidates for Hong Kong's 2017 election.
China has said it will introduce universal suffrage for the 2017 Hong Kong election, but wants a committee to approve the candidates.
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The financial hub has enjoyed substantial political autonomy since 1997, when its leadership returned to China after about a century of British colonial rule.
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