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Hong Kong: next step talks

October 6, 2014

Hong Kong has regained some sense of normalcy with many protesters vacating central city streets and civil servants returning to work. Student leaders are still preparing to present their arguments to the government.

Hongkong Menschen auf dem Weg zur Arbeit
Image: Reuters/Carlos Barria

While some protesters for democratic reform in Hong Kong remained, most had returned home Monday, and civil servants employed at government buildings previously barricaded by protesters were able to go back to work.

But the leaders of the student-led protest movement insisted they would keep up pressure on the territory's government. While demonstrators' numbers dwindled near government headquarters, parts of the business district remained closed and several hundred people could still be found in the Mong Kok area, which saw some clashes over the weekend.

The protesters are still pushing for talks to be set up with the government to address democratic reforms, but these preliminary negotiations are being held up by disagreements over the ground rules.

Not merely a 'chat'

"We hope the talks will not be merely a chat or a consultation," said Lester Shum, vice secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, according to the dpa news agency. "Our sole purpose is to solve the problem over political reform."

The protesters are demanding that Hong Kong be allowed to freely elect the city's next leader in 2017. The Chinese government has said only pre-approved candidates will be able stand for election.

Many demonstrators said they intended to return to the protests later in the day on Monday.

mz/ipj (dpa, AP)

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