HK protester, gov’t talks to take place Tuesday


AFP

HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s embattled government said it will open talks with student demonstrators Tuesday, after three nights of violent clashes between police and protesters who have paralyzed parts of the city with mass pro-democracy rallies. The city’s leader, Leung Chun-ying, made a dramatic U-turn Thursday by announcing a return to talks with the Hong Kong Federation of Students, one of the groups leading the protests, after abruptly pulling out of discussions a week earlier.

��Right now we are planning that it will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 21,�� Leung’s deputy Carrie Lam told reporters on Saturday. Lam said the talks would be focused on constitutional reform, with both sides allowed to bring five members to the meeting that will last around two hours and will be broadcast live. But hopes of any breakthrough are slim, with the government unlikely to cede to protesters’ core demands �X Leung’s resignation and free leadership elections for the semi-autonomous Chinese city in 2017. Beijing insists that candidates for the vote must be vetted by a committee expected to be loyal to China �X and Leung has warned that the country’s communist authorities have no intention of backing down. ��I’m not sure anything will come out of it because the government does not seem to listen to public opinions,�� 15-year-old student protester Crystal Yip told AFP. The demonstrators have held sit-ins at three key intersections since September 28, causing major disruption in an Asian financial hub usually known for its stability.