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China says Hong Kong protests an attempt to seek independence

In a commentary, the CPC's mouthpiece said the movement's organisers wanted Hong Kong to have self-determination" and even to be "independent".

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Updated:October 20, 2014, 1:23 PM IST
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China says Hong Kong protests an attempt to seek independence
In a commentary, the CPC's mouthpiece said the movement's organisers wanted Hong Kong to have self-determination" and even to be "independent".

Beijing: China has termed the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong an attempt to seek self-determination and independence, as it grappled to deal with the student-led movement that has occupied parts of the financial hub for more than three weeks.

For the first time, the ruling Communist Party's official organ the People's Daily yesterday linked the Occupy movement to an attempt to seek Hong Kong's political independence from Beijing.

In a commentary, the CPC's mouthpiece said the movement's organisers wanted Hong Kong to have self-determination" and even to be "independent".

People familiar with the central government thinking said there were "worrying signs" that radical groups in the city were pushing for its de facto political independence and were "actively collaborating with foreign forces", Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

Many officials, including Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, have said the movement is getting out of control. "There are external forces getting involved," Leung told a television talk show. "This is not entirely a domestic movement and it is getting out of hand."

But Alex Chow Yong-kang, of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, called these accusations "a complete fabrication". He said the protests would continue until the government tabled a "feasible" reform package.

The officials of the former British colony are bracing for their first talks with the representatives of the protesters on Tuesday. Televised talks between the Hong Kong government and students have been scheduled for 6-8pm tomorrow.

Pan-democrat lawmakers, in a joint statement, said the protest seeking open elections for Chief Executive in 2017 without Beijing vetting the candidates resulted from Leung's attempt to clear the rally site in Mong Kok. They urged restraint on both sides.

"It is biased to call this movement 'out of control' or 'riotous'. A vast majority of protesters are peaceful," they said.

Analysts say China is unlikely to intensify the crackdown ahead of vital international and domestic events, as it today held a plenary meeting to guide policy for the coming year.

China is also bracing for US President Barack Obama's visit for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum meet in Beijing in November.

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