Hong Kong students reject closed-door talks with city leader
HONG KONG — Student unions from two Hong Kong universities said Friday that they have turned down invitations from city leader Carrie Lam for talks about the recent unrest over her proposal to allow the extradition of suspects to mainland China.
The invitations followed a pledge by Lam to do a better job of listening to the voices of young people.
Student leaders said at a news conference that they do not think Lam is being sincere. Her office invited them to closed-door meetings, but the students said any meeting should be public and include a wider representation.
Young people have taken the lead in protesting against the extradition legislation, which many see as a threat to the rights guaranteed to Hong Kong under the "one country, two systems" framework that governs the Chinese territory.
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.
The demonstrations have continued though, with protesters demanding a formal withdrawal of the bill, Lam's resignation, the release of dozens arrested after the protests and an independent investigation into a police crackdown on the June 12 protest that included tear gas and rubber bullets.