HK leader says China adamant; students seek talks
Published 8:03 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014
HONG KONG — Pro-democracy protesters demanded that Hong Kong’s top leader meet with them, threatening wider actions if he did not, after he said Tuesday that China would not budge in its decision to limit voting reforms in the Asian financial hub.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has taken a hard line against any perceived threat to the Communist Party’s hold on power, meanwhile vowed in a National Day speech to “steadfastly safeguard” Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. He said Beijing believes Hong Kong will “create an even better future in the big family of the motherland.”
China’s government has condemned the student-led protests as illegal, though so far it has not overtly intervened, leaving Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous government to handle the crisis. But Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s rejection of the student demands dashed hopes for a quick resolution of the five-day standoff that has blocked city streets, forcing some schools and offices to close.