Hong Kong’s Chief Executive CY Leung has said that he will not resign over the continued pro-democracy protests in the territory.
The protesters, made up mostly of students and school pupils, are calling for full democracy in the Chinese “autonomous region” and are angry at Beijing’s plans to vet candidates for the upcoming elections 2017.
The protests, dubbed the “Umbrella revolution”, began on 22 September and have continued to grow over the last two weeks, and the demonstrators now surround two key government buildings in the centre of the city.
The protesters set a deadline for midnight on Thursday for Leung to step down, and Beijing officials are becoming increasingly nervous about the possibility of the protests and calls for democracy to spread to other parts of the country.
Leung has said that his government is willing to talk to the protesters and discuss “political reforms”, but warned them that they are breaking the law. He also warned that any move by the protesters to occupy the government buildings they currently surround would be met with a police response, but said that the protests had so far been “very rational and restrained”.