Hong Kong | Xi supports democracy ‘within law,’ Leung says

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Hong Kong’s leader the nation supports the city’s democratic development “within the law,” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said, as pro-democracy demonstrations entered a seventh week.
The “Occupy” protests have impacted Hong Kong’s rule of law, while also reflecting the different views on electoral reforms, Leung said yesterday while meeting Xi in Beijing. Xi reiterated the nation “unwaveringly” supports Hong Kong’s democratic development in accordance with the law.
Protesters took to the streets Sept. 26, demanding China reverse its decision that candidates for the 2017 Hong Kong leadership election be approved by a committee.
“Occupy Central has impacted Hong Kong’s rule of law and severely affected social order,” Leung said yesterday. “But I am confident that under the support of all sectors in Hong Kong, the special administrative government can handle the Occupy Central and related events by its own ability and laws.”
Protesters, in an open letter last week, asked Hong Kong’s former Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa to arrange a meeting with Chinese officials after shelving a plan to take their complaints directly to Beijing during a summit attended by world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama.
Tung told student pro-democracy protesters their request doesn’t help and they should end their demonstrations now.
“The content of the letter only repeats their viewpoints and stance, and offers no help in solving the current impasse,” Tung said in an e-mailed statement Saturday night, without saying whether he would try to arrange meetings. “The central government fully grasps the opinions from different sectors in Hong Kong. The National People’s Congress Standing Committee will not change its Aug. 31 decision.”
The Hong Kong Federation of Students yesterday urged Tung to give a clear answer as it hopes talks with China’s central government will help resolve the impasse.
The federation will also send another open letter to Rita Fan, Hong Kong’s deputy to China’s National People’s Congress, for aid on arranging meetings with officials in Beijing, Ming Pao reported yesterday, citing its secretary-general Alex Chow.Fion Li , Bloomberg

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