Hong Kong calls off talks with student protesters

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Occupy Central protesters vowed on Thursday to launch a new wave of civil disobedience after Hong Kong officials called off scheduled talks with student groups.

The government had agreed to meet with students to hear their arguments in favor of free elections, then announced Thursday it would cancel the talks because students have undermined attempts to return the city's commercial districts to business as usual.


The move sparked a fresh wave of criticism from young protesters, who said they will continue to peacefully protest in the streets until Hong Kong addresses their demands for open elections in 2017, a promise they say pro-Chinese government officials have allowed China to walk back.

Student leaders urged protesters to keep pressure on government officials. Many protesters have returned to work and school as the movement has dwindled, but the canceled talks appear to have invigorated opposition.


The opposition has also been fueled by new reports that Hong Kong's embattled leader, CY Leung, accepted multimillion dollar payments from an Australian engineering firm. Protesters have called for his resignation.


While the Chinese government in Beijing has criticized the protests and backed Leung, some reports suggest the tipoff about the payouts might have actually come from the Chinese. Leung's resignation could allow the government to essentially appoint someone new.


Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.

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