Hong Kong protests: Closed-door talks between university students and police cancelled

Hong Kong protests: Closed-door talks between university students and police cancelled

A professor of social work at Chinese University of Hong Kong had organised the meeting to speak about ‘the concerns of both sides’.

Students from the social work programme at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) backed out of planned closed-door talks with police. The students were invited via unofficial channels to speak to the police about "the concerns of both sides". A WhatsApp screenshot of an invitation to students was leaked on Facebook page CUHK Secrets.

A Facebook post on the CUHK Social Work Student Union page said more than 70 per cent of students surveyed wished to cancel the talks and added: “We object to any form of talks with police. We hope those who participate in this meeting will learn the lessons of 2014 and the harsh consequences of dialogue with an authoritarian government.”

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Students who negotiated with the then Chief Secretary, now Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to end the occupation of streets in Admiralty were later charged for their role in the Umbrella Movement. The Umbrella Movement was a non-violent political movement that sought to use civil disobedience to strive for universal suffrage in the election of Hong Kong's chief executive.

On Wednesday, police issued a statement saying “Vicious attacks by ill-willed individuals have led to a meeting with university stakeholders, a crucial opportunity for both sides to address concerns, being called off,” referring to the CUHK student meeting. Police commissioner Chris Tang Ping-keung is an alumni of the programme.

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