10/21/2014, 00.00
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Hong Kong: first round of talks end in stalemate

The government delegation, led by Carrie Lam, "hopes" to be able to hold another meeting with student representatives but rejects their demands. Protest leaders are set to remain in the streets to show that the battle is a long one.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Hong Kong Government officials ended the first round of talks with the students blocking important sections of the city to demand full democracy and universal suffrage.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said that she hoped to have more meetings with protest leaders. However, the authorities in both Hong Kong and mainland China rejected protesters' demands.

According to some observers, both the students that the pro-democracy Occupy Central protesters Central know that have no chance of reaching a favourable agreement. However, they have decided to stay in the streets to show that the battle for democracy is a long one.

The government's negotiation team was led by the city's most senior civil servant, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, and the students were represented by five leaders.

This evening's talks centred on the students' demands that the mainland's preventive screening of candidates for the post of chief executive be dropped and that Hong Kong leadership elections be more democratic before next poll in 2017, a stand rejected by Ms Lam.

"As far as their position is concerned I'm afraid we can only agree to disagree," she said.

For Alex Chow, secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, the government's stance was "vague".

"We would say that the government needs to further explain it in front of the public," he added.

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