Hong Kong pro-democracy agitation enters fourth week as impasse continues

20 October 2014

Protests in Hong Kong's pro-democracy agitation entered their fourth week, with the  government running out of options to deal with the crisis and demonstrators getting increasingly aggressive in confrontations with the police, Reuters reported.

Dozens of people were reportedly injured, including 22 police personnel, in two nights of clashes that started Friday in the densely populated Mong Kok district of the Chinese-controlled city.

According to police four people were arrested early on Sunday.

Although the area was calm early today scores of protesters remained on the streets.

According to commentators, the worst political crisis in Hong Kong since UK handed the free-wheeling city back to China in 1997 after its lease expired, rested on talks scheduled for tomorrow between the government and student protest leaders that would be broadcast live.

However, few were expecting any resolution given the two sides remained poles apart on how the city would elect its next leader in 2017.

Reuters quoted Sonny Lo, a professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education as saying unless there was some kind of breakthrough in ... talks tomorrow, he was worried the standoff could worsen and turn violent.

He added a new and much more problematic stage may be reached. He added, he hoped the government had worked out some compromises as things could get very difficult.

Meanwhile, pro-democracy activists have firmly denied Hong Kong leader C Y Leung's claim that "external forces" were involved in protests in the territory, the BBC reported.

According to student activist Alex Chow, the leader's comments were "irresponsible". He added Leung had not provided any evidence to support his claim.

Parts of Hong Kong had been paralysed by pro-democracy demonstrations for the past three weeks.

The protesters angered by the Chinese government's decision to vet candidates for the leadership polls in 2017 have called for fully democratic elections in Hong Kong.

In an interview with local broadcaster ATV, Leung said the protests were "not entirely a domestic movement, as external forces are involved.'' He however, declined to give details or name the countries he thought were involved.

Chow, from the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said, "To make a statement that there are foreign powers infiltrating this movement right before the discussions, is evidence that C Y [Leung] is hoping to crack down on the entire movement."

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