Hong Kong Chief Executive seeks meeting with students after mass protests

Vastavam web: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has asked to meet students in the Chinese-ruled city as she tries to fend off pressure from a month of protests over a proposed law that would allow extradition to mainland China. Protesters stormed Hong Kong’s legislature on Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China. This followed mass demonstrations last month against Lam’s extradition bill, which critics fear could see Hong Kong citizens sent for trial in the mainland.

The student union at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), one of eight major higher education institutions, turned down the offer, saying Lam had requested a closed-door meeting. “The dialogue must be open to all Hong Kong citizens to participate, and allow everybody the right to speak,” the union said in a statement published on Facebook.

Lam’s spokeswoman said the meeting would be held in a “small-scale and closed-door manner” to ensure an “in-depth and frank exchange of views”. A leader of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union, Jordan Pang, said he would only agree if the government promised not to investigate protesters involved in the protests. “We don’t understand why she didn’t openly respond to the people’s demands but prefer to do it through a closed-door meeting,” Pang said.

“We want to ask if the government sincerely wants to communicate with young people or if it’s just another political PR show.”