Hong Kong students reject city leader's proposal for talks on protests

Hong Kong students reject city leader's proposal for talks on protests
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Members of two student unions at Hong Kong universities have turned down an invitation to discuss their demands for city officials to drop a proposed law that would allow extradition to mainland China with the city's chief executive.

The Associated Press reported Friday that members of the student groups, which have been visibly active during weeks of protests that have paralyzed the city, called the offer for talks from Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's highest-ranking official, a "PR stunt."

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“A closed-door meeting does not have any witnesses to prove what was discussed, the public does not know what the dialogue was about,” Jordan Pang, leader of a student union at the University of Hong Kong, told the AP.

“The public has the right to know,” he added.

“We believe it is a PR stunt,” added Ng Yat Ming, vice president of a student union at a science and tech school, according to the news service.

Chinese officials have denounced the protests, which in recent days have grown in intensity and have involved demonstrators storming the city's legislative assembly and spray-painting anti-Chinese slogans on the walls.

“The violent attacks ... are serious illegal acts that trample on the rule of law and endanger social order. We strongly condemn it,” a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, Geng Shuang, told reporters on Tuesday.

Foreign countries, he added at the time, “must not support any violent criminals in any form, and not send any misleading signals or take any erroneous actions.”