PRO-DEMOCRACY protests in central Hong Kong are "out of control" and likely to end soon, city Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said in an interview.
LEUNG told local television station TVB that the protests had become a "mass movement that has spun out of control," other Hong Kong media reported.Hundreds of people continued the two-week protests on Sunday after many camped out overnight outside government offices and at least two other sites.The demonstrators are calling for open elections for the city's next chief executive in 2017, rejecting a ruling from Beijing that candidates must be approved by a government-backed election committee. They have also demanded Leung's resignation.In the interview, Leung said the protesters had "zero chance" of getting China's ruling Communist Party to change its plans for the 2017 election.Hong Kong police would continue efforts to persuade protesters to leave the streets but avoid the use of force if possible, Leung said, insisting that he would not resign.Radio station RTHK quoted student leader Lester Shum as saying an open letter to President Xi Jinping was intended to show that the protests were a "peaceful, democratic movement" rather than a revolutionary one.The protests could escalate again if the city government refuses to engage in talks on political reform, but organisers were currently encouraging people to limit their action to an extended sit-in outside municipal offices, Shum said.The letter published Saturday calls for the building of a "democratic system that affirms equal rights," and for "Hong Kong problems be settled in Hong Kong" without interference from Beijing."The Occupy movement today at Hong Kong is definitely not a colour revolution or its like, but rather a movement for democracy," it said.Chief Secretary Carrie Lam postponed the talks when protest leaders called for a rally to increase pressure during the meeting.On Saturday, RTHK quoted city executive councillor Regina Ip as saying talks could still take place this week."I've also heard from the chief secretary [Lam] that efforts are still underway, through intermediaries, to resume the talks, to reactivate the talks, so all is not lost," she was quoted as saying.