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HK Government Preparing for Talks with Students
   2014-10-16 20:13:57    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Wang

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As protests continue in Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region's government is once again preparing for talks with students, which it says should be conducted within the framework laid down by Beijing.

CRI's Hong Kong correspondent Li Jing has the story.


 

The government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region hopes to have formal talks with representatives of the students participating in the Occupy movement next week.

Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung says at a press conference that government has already contacted the Federation of Students, one of the major organizers of the movement, through a middleman and received a positive response from the students.

"We have the willingness to hold a formal meeting with the students as soon as possible, and we hope to get their positive feedback. It is in the expectation of the society that an early meeting could take place. We hope to meet with the students at an earliest time next week."

The talks aim to deal with Hong Kong's constitutional development, the restoration of order in Hong Kong and to push forward the start of the second stage of consultation on constitutional reform.

CY Leung says that negotiations have to be based on the Basic Law and the decision by the National People's Congress on the election of the next chief executive.

He notes the protests have "severely affected" Hong Kong society, and that the police have shown "maximum tolerance" in dealing with demonstrators.

At the same time, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen says the government is open to dialogue before or during the second round of consultation.

"In English, they say 'it takes two to tango.' The government has been sincere about engaging in dialogue with the students. And we hope they and other people would also give goodwill by not insisting on something which can't be realized. "

The government's talks with the students, originally scheduled for last Friday, were suspended due to a last-minute action plan from the students, which the government said shook the basis of the dialogue.

Meanwhile, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam has rejected suggestions that a "supplementary report" be submitted to the national legislature, saying it's unlikely that the National People's Congress will revoke or revise the decision.

Seven police officers alleged to have beaten a protester in the early hours of Wednesday, have been suspended.

Lawmakers warn that the recent protests could cause hotel occupancy in the rest of the year to drop to a 10-year low. And for the first two weeks this month, outgoing travel sales have also decreased by 20 per cent, compared with a year ago.

For CRI, this is Li Jing in Hong Kong.

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