Published: Sat, July 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Hong Kong student leaders reject chief’s offer to talk

Hong Kong student leaders reject chief’s offer to talk

Hong Kong's political divisions showed no sign of closing as students rebuffed an offer from city leader Carrie Lam to meet and a few thousand mothers rallied in support of young protesters who left a trail of destruction in the legislature's building at the start of the week. "This makes us feel doubtful".

But a pair of student unions are not interested.

But many resent what they see as increasing meddling by the mainland and the erosion of those freedoms.

They expressed hope that youngsters would control their emotions but also urged the government to stop being "arrogant" and listen to their demands. "The public has the right to know".

The Student Union of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of eight major universities, has rejected the offer and states that Lam offered a meeting behind closed doors.

"We believe it is a PR stunt", he said.

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Mass rallies erupted in Hong Kong in early June as the authorities were considering adopting a bill that would allow the autonomous Chinese city to extradite suspects to jurisdictions which it did not have an extradition agreement with, including mainland China.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997, under a "one country, two systems" formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom of protest and a much-cherished independent judiciary.

Ms Lam, who was appointed as Hong Kong's leader by a committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites, suspended the legislation indefinitely after a huge march against it on June 9 and then a June 12 protest that blocked access to the legislature and nearby streets. One problem facing Mrs Lam is that the protest movement has so far remained largely leaderless, making it harder to find someone she can negotiate with.

Pun Ho-chiu, 31, appeared in court on Friday over his alleged involvement in the blockade of the city's police headquarters on 21 June. The Legislative Council has suspended meetings until October for repairs to the heavily damaged complex.

According to Xiaoming, those who illegally occupied Hong Kong's parliament should be "condemned as law breakers", but was told by Simon McDonald, head of the diplomatic service in the Foreign Office, that his comments were "unacceptable and inaccurate". He was the first of those arrested to do so. He was denied bail.

On Wednesday, China's foreign ministry said it had lodged a diplomatic complaint with London, . denouncing Hunt as "shameless" for his warning of consequences if Beijing breached the Sino-British declaration.

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