Hong Kong protest site calm as accusations fly
20 October 2014, 10:25
Hong Kong - A key protest site for pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong was calm Monday, after a weekend which saw numerous clashes with police and over two dozen arrests.
Tensions rose over the weekend in the Mong Kok commercial and residential district in Kowloon - across the bay from Hong Kong island - as police used pepper spray against protesters, and arrested about 26 people.
Five police officers were reported to have been injured.
In a television interview over the weekend, the island's chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, accused "external forces" of being involved in the unrest, Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post reported on Monday.
The allegations were denied by student leaders, according to the BBC.
Also read: Police, protesters in violent clashes in Hong Kong
Talks between the protesters and the government are expected to take place on Tuesday between 6 and 20:00.
The protesters are calling for open elections for the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's next chief executive in 2017, rejecting a ruling from Beijing that candidates must be approved by a government-backed election committee.
China's Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, on Sunday said in a commentary that the protest's organisers wanted Hong Kong to have "self-determination" and even to be "independent".