After weeks of delays and cancellations, Hong Kong's government met with student protest leaders for two hours today in an attempt to resolve a political crisis that has upended life in the territory. Student leaders described the talks—held at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine—as "peaceful," but described the government's proposals as "kind of vague."
Hong Kong's protest leaders have called for the resignation of CY Leung, the territory's chief executive, and for the repeal of a restrictive new electoral law that limits eligibility for Hong Kong's chief executive elections to candidates vetted by China. According to the South China Morning Post, the talks focused on reforming the electoral system after 2017, the year the next chief executive is chosen.
Carrie Lam, the government's chief representative in the talks, expressed optimism that the meeting would yield progress. "I hope you feel that the two-hour conversation has been constructive," she said. "No quarrels and no confrontation. I hope this is not the only time we meet." Lam, however, added that Hong Kong's government has little leeway in determining its own political course. "Hong Kong is not an independent country," she said.