Hong Kong leader hopes for fresh talks after night of clashes

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Hong Kong - Pro-democracy protests (updated 10/16/2014)
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Hong Kong leader hopes for fresh talks after night of clashes
A man walks past a barricade set up by pro-demoracy protesters in Hong Kong on October 16, 2014. Hong Kong's embattled leader made a dramatic u-turn reopening his offer of talks with student protesters a week after the government abruptly pulled out of discussions aimed at ending more than a fortnight of mass democracy rallies. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A man pushing an elderly woman in a wheelchair complain to the police about a barricade set up by pro-demoracy protesters in Hong Kong on October 16, 2014. Hong Kong's embattled leader made a dramatic u-turn reopening his offer of talks with student protesters a week after the government abruptly pulled out of discussions aimed at ending more than a fortnight of mass democracy rallies. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 10: Thousands of pro-democracy protesters fill what has now been called ' Umbrella Square' at Admiralty for a rally on October 10, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. The rally comes after government officials called off talks with student leaders yesterday. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 10: Thousands of pro-democracy protesters fill what has now been called ' Umbrella Square' at Admiralty for a rally on October 10, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. The rally comes after government officials called off talks with student leaders yesterday. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 10: Pro-democracy protesters listen to speeches during a rally at what has now been called ' Umbrella Square' at Admiralty on October 10, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. The rally comes after government officials called off talks with student leaders yesterday. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators attend a rally next to the central government offices in Hong Kong on October 10, 2014. Hong Kong's democracy protest leaders implored supporters October 10 to bring tents and dig in for the long haul, threatening to expand their occupation of key parts of the city after talks with the government collapsed. AFP PHOTO / Pedro Ugarte (Photo credit should read PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro democracy protesters gather at Admiralty district during a rally after government called off the talks with students on October 10, 2014 in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Strings of garland-like paper umbrellas hang from a bridge at Admiralty district during the rally after government called off talks with students on October 10, 2014 in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro democracy protesters gather at Admiralty district during the rally after government called off the talks with students on October 10, 2014 in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators gather for a rally in Hong Kong on October 10, 2014. Hong Kong's democracy protest leaders implored supporters October 10 to bring tents and dig in for the long haul, threatening to expand their occupation of key parts of the city after talks with the government collapsed. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
People are seen on an escalator as pro-democracy demonstrators gather for a rally in Hong Kong on October 10, 2014. Hong Kong's democracy protest leaders implored supporters October 10 to bring tents and dig in for the long haul, threatening to expand their occupation of key parts of the city after talks with the government collapsed. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators stand in front of police in the Mong Kok area in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Police with riot gear stand guard in the Mong Kok area in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A policeman shouts during protests in the Mong Kok area in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A demonstrator wears a t-shirt with an image of South African leader Nelson Mandela during protests in the Mong Kok area in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Police stand guard in the Mong Kok area in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 05: Police stand guard during a pro-democracy protest in the Mongkok area of Hong Kong on October 5, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters continue to occupy the streets surrounding Hong Kong's Financial district. The protesters are calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who last night agreed to hold talks with the protest leaders in a bid to diffuse the growing unrest. (Photo by Thomas Campean/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators gather for a night rally in Hong Kong on October 4, 2014. Hopes of finding a resolution to a week of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong collapsed Saturday as students scrapped talks with the government over violent attacks by Beijing supporters and suspected triad members. Hong Kong's security chief furiously denied the government had used triad gangs against pro-democracy protesters. AFP PHOTO / ANTHONY WALLACE (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
A man lights a cigarette as he talks to a crowd of pro-democracy protesters about why the occupation of the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong should end on October 4, 2014. Tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators gathered for a mass peace rally in central Hong Kong late Saturday, defying recent attacks against their ranks as the city authorities denied using paid thugs to harass them. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators sit on a road during a protest in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong, China, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 03: A pro-democracy activist screams at local residents and pro-government supporters as they protect their protest site on October 3, 2014 in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Fights broke out between local residents and pro government supporters when they attempted to force pro-democracy activists from their protest site. Thousands of pro democracy supporters continue to occupy the streets surrounding Hong Kong's Financial district. Protest leaders have set an October 1st deadline for their demands to be met and are calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Pedestrians look at demonstrators as they sit on a road during a protest in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong, China, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A couple look down on an empty road and tramway in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong, China, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A demonstrator reads a book as he sits holding an umbrella along with other demonstrators in front of a Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. store during a protest in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong, China, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 04: Pro-democracy protesters rests on a blockaded road next to the central government offices in Hong Kong on October 4, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters continue to occupy the streets surrounding Hong Kong's Financial district. The protesters are calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who last night agreed to hold talks with the protest leaders in a bid to diffuse the growing unrest. (Photo by Thomas Campean/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 03: Anti-Occupy supporters chant at the Occupy camp in Causeway Bay on October 3, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters continue to occupy the streets surrounding Hong Kong's Financial district. The protesters are calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who last night agreed to hold talks with the protest leaders in a bid to diffuse the growing unrest. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 03: Anti-Occupy supporters chant at the Occupy camp in Causeway Bay on October 3, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters continue to occupy the streets surrounding Hong Kong's Financial district. The protesters are calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who last night agreed to hold talks with the protest leaders in a bid to diffuse the growing unrest. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 03: Police remove barricades on a street in Causeway Bay on October 3, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters continue to occupy the streets surrounding Hong Kong's Financial district. The protesters are calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who last night agreed to hold talks with the protest leaders in a bid to diffuse the growing unrest. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 03: Anti-Occupy supporters chant at the Occupy camp in Causeway Bay on October 3, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters continue to occupy the streets surrounding Hong Kong's Financial district. The protesters are calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who last night agreed to hold talks with the protest leaders in a bid to diffuse the growing unrest. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 03: Pro-democracy activists are pushed through the crowd to safety after clashing with local residents and pro-government supporters on October 3, 2014 in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Fights broke out between local residents and pro government supporters when they attempted to force pro-democracy activists from their protest site. Thousands of pro democracy supporters continue to occupy the streets surrounding Hong Kong's Financial district. Protest leaders have set an October 1st deadline for their demands to be met and are calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 03: Local residents and pro-government supporters scream at pro-democracy protesters on October 3, 2014 in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Fights broke out between local residents and pro government supporters when they attempted to force pro-democracy activists from their protest site. Thousands of pro democracy supporters continue to occupy the streets surrounding Hong Kong's Financial district. Protest leaders have set an October 1st deadline for their demands to be met and are calling for open elections and the resignation of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators look on as they protect a barricade from anti-protesters in an occupied area of Hong Kong on October 3, 2014. Pro-democracy protesters clashed with opposition groups in two of Hong Kong's busiest shopping districts on October 3, with police stepping in to try to calm the chaos. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators walk past the People's Liberation Army Garrison headquarters building as they gather for the third night in Hong Kong on September 30, 2014. The demonstrators have demanded full universal suffrage after Beijing said it would allow elections for the semi-autonomous city's next leader in 2017 but would vet the candidates -- a decision branded a 'fake democracy'. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators check their smart phones in the central district as they gather for the third night in Hong Kong on September 30, 2014. The demonstrators have demanded full universal suffrage after Beijing said it would allow elections for the semi-autonomous city's next leader in 2017 but would vet the candidates -- a decision branded a 'fake democracy'. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators gather for the third night in Hong Kong on September 30, 2014. The demonstrators have demanded full universal suffrage after Beijing said it would allow elections for the semi-autonomous city's next leader in 2017 but would vet the candidates -- a decision branded a 'fake democracy'. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: A protester instructs people to move to Chater Road in the Central District on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: Protesters parade a large cut out of the head of C.Y. Leung in the streets outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: Protesters gather in the streets outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy protesters gather behind barricades next to luxury stores Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton in the Central district of Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy protesters gather around the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel in the Central district of Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: A protester instructs people to move to Chater Road in the Central District on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
Demonstrators hold an effigy of Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong's chief executive, as they protest near the central government offices in the business district of Admiralty in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters poured back into the streets of Hong Kong, choking roads in three different points of the city to press demands for free and open elections and the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Protestors and student demonstrators hold up their cellphones in a display of solidarity during a protest outside the headquarters of Legislative Council in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Protestors gather at Wanchai district in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: Protesters put on goggles and wrap themselves in clear wrap after hearing a rumour that police were coming with tear gas outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: A man helps protesters use a makeshift ladder to climb over concrete street barricades outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: Protesters wave their cell phones in the air in the streets outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: Protesters gather in the streets outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: Protesters gather in the streets outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Two young pro-democracy protesters hand out food and masks to other demonstrators at a rally in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators hold up their mobile phones during a protest near the Hong Kong government headquarters on September 29, 2014. The ranks of Hong Kong democracy protesters who have paralysed parts of the city swelled into their tens of thousands on September 29, digging in for another night of confrontation with police in their campaign for free elections. AFP PHOTO / DALE DE LA REY (Photo credit should read DALE de la REY/AFP/Getty Images)
A man uses a smartphone to take photographs of a blocked stairwell at Admiralty MTR station, occupied by demonstrators in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. Pro-democracy protesters vowed to press ahead with demonstrations unless Hong Kongâs top official steps down, with thousands of people surrounding government offices after violent clashes paralyzed the city center. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: Protesters wave their cell phones in the air in the streets outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Thousands of pro democracy supporters have remained in the streets of Hong Kong for another day of protests. Protestors are unhappy with Chinese government's plans to vet candidates in Hong Kong's 2017 elections. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
A pro-democracy protester wears plastic wrap to protect himself from pepper spray at a rally near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Spectators watch as thousands of demonstrators storm onto a highway after breaking through police cordons during ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / JEROME TAYLOR (Photo credit should read JEROME TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers walk up an escalator shortly after thousands of demonstrators storm onto a highway after breaking through police cordons during ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / JEROME TAYLOR (Photo credit should read JEROME TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators dressed in protective masks and ponchos carry sodium chloride solution to be used as an eye wash if pepper spray is deployed by police during ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / JEROME TAYLOR (Photo credit should read JEROME TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators storm onto a highway after breaking through police cordons during ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / JEROME TAYLOR (Photo credit should read JEROME TAYLOR/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy protesters wear protective clothing and face masks as they rally near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
A pro-democracy protester screams at police near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
A pro-democracy protester shouts slogans at police near the government headquarters in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators disperse as tear gas is fired by police during a protest near central government offices in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Pro-democracy protesters kick-started their campaign to occupy central Hong Kong after police clashed with students, demanding that China withdraws proposals to control the citys elections. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Police fire tear gas at demonstrators during a protest near central government offices in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Pro-democracy protesters kick-started their campaign to occupy central Hong Kong after police clashed with students, demanding that China withdraws proposals to control the citys elections. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Police fire tear gas at demonstrators during a protest near central government offices in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Pro-democracy protesters kick-started their campaign to occupy central Hong Kong after police clashed with students, demanding that China withdraws proposals to control the citys elections. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Police fire tear gas at demonstrators during a protest near central government offices in Hong Kong, China, on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Pro-democracy protesters kick-started their campaign to occupy central Hong Kong after police clashed with students, demanding that China withdraws proposals to control the citys elections. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People walk along a closed road near the site of a pro-democracy protest near the Hong Kong government headquarters on September 29, 2014. Police repeatedly fired tear gas after tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28 in protest at Beijing's refusal to grant the city unfettered democracy. AFP PHOTO / DALE DE LA REY (Photo credit should read DALE de la REY/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators rest after a night of protesting at a rally outside the Hong Kong government headquarters on September 29, 2014. Police repeatedly fired tear gas after tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28 in protest at Beijing's refusal to grant the city unfettered democracy. AFP PHOTO / DALE DE LA REY (Photo credit should read DALE de la REY/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy demonstrators rest after a night of protesting at a rally outside the Hong Kong government headquarters on September 29, 2014. Police repeatedly fired tear gas after tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28 in protest at Beijing's refusal to grant the city unfettered democracy. AFP PHOTO / DALE DE LA REY (Photo credit should read DALE de la REY/AFP/Getty Images)
Police rest after a night of keeping vigil at a pro-democracy demonstration near the Hong Kong government headquarters on September 29, 2014. Police repeatedly fired tear gas after tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28 in protest at Beijing's refusal to grant the city unfettered democracy. AFP PHOTO / DALE DE LA REY (Photo credit should read DALE de la REY/AFP/Getty Images)
People pass out food and drink at a pro-democracy protest on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong, on September 29, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy protesters argue with a man (L) opposing their occupation of Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong, on September 29, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
A commuter joins in the chanting with pro-democracy protesters as they gather on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong, on September 29, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
People stand on top of an entrance to the Mong Kok MTR station overlooking a pro-democracy protest on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong, on September 29, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester rests following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters rest following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Policemen rest following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters rest following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Police confront demonstrators during a protest in Hong Kong, China, in the early morning hours of Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. Thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators defied tear gas and pepper spray to occupy the city center, as police undertook the biggest crackdown since the city returned to Chinese rule. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: Demonstrators disperse as tear gas is fired by police during a protest on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of people kicked off Occupy Central by taking over Connaught Road, one of the major highway in Hong Kong, in protest against Beijing's conservative framework for political reform. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
HONG KONG - SEPTEMBER 29: Demonstrators disperse as tear gas is fired by police during a protest on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong. Thousands of people kicked off Occupy Central by taking over Connaught Road, one of the major highway in Hong Kong, in protest against Beijing's conservative framework for political reform. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
A demonstrator gestures opposite policemen during a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Security forces wearing gas masks take position opposite demonstrators taking part in a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters protect themselves from tear gas fired by police during riots that followed a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Riot policemen take position opposite demonstrators during a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters protect themselves from tear gas fired by police during riots that followed a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy protestersput their hands up in the air in fron of the police in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. It marked a dramatic escalation of protests in the city, which rarely sees such violence, after a tense week of largely contained student-led demonstrations exploded into mass angry street protests. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
A pro-democracy protester runs along a road after the police fired tear gas in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. It marked a dramatic escalation of protests in the city, which rarely sees such violence, after a tense week of largely contained student-led demonstrations exploded into mass angry street protests. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-democracy protesters run away from tear gas fired by the police in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. It marked a dramatic escalation of protests in the city, which rarely sees such violence, after a tense week of largely contained student-led demonstrations exploded into mass angry street protests. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officers face off with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. It marked a dramatic escalation of protests in the city, which rarely sees such violence, after a tense week of largely contained student-led demonstrations exploded into mass angry street protests. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
A pro-democracy protester wraps his face with plastic wrap to protect himself against tear gas in Hong Kong on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. It marked a dramatic escalation of protests in the city, which rarely sees such violence, after a tense week of largely contained student-led demonstrations exploded into mass angry street protests. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
Volunteers and demonstrators sit outside a makeshift first-aid post, in the form of a Citybus Ltd. commuter bus, in the business district of Admiralty in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. Pro-democracy protesters vowed to press ahead with demonstrations unless Hong Kong's top official steps down, with thousands of people surrounding government offices after violent clashes paralyzed the city center. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Police officers stand off with pro-democracy protesters next to the Hong Kong police headquarters in the Wan Chai area of Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
A young girl laughs as she holds a picture she drew of herself crying next to the number '689', in reference to the number of votes counted to elect Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, at a rally in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Hong Kong has been plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists take over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage. AFP PHOTO / ALEX OGLE (Photo credit should read Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images)
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By Clare Baldwin and James Pomfret

(Reuters) - Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying sought to defuse tension with pro-democracy protesters on Thursday, saying he hopes the two sides can talk next week, but anger over police violence and continued street scuffles suggest the students are not about to give up.

Leung was speaking after more than two weeks of protests that have paralyzed parts of the city and grabbed global headlines amid scenes of violent clashes and tear gas rising between some of the world's most valuable office buildings.

The protesters are demanding free elections for their leader in 2017, but Beijing insists on screening candidates first and Leung reiterated that the government was unwilling to compromise.

"We don't find civil nomination in all Western democracies either," Leung said when a reporter challenged him on how the talks could progress when he was ruling out any changes to the electoral framework.

Hong Kong Police Pepper Spray Protesters Again

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam canceled talks with student leaders earlier this month, saying it was impossible to have constructive dialogue.

Leung spoke as posters depicting him as a fanged wolf, a gang boss and Hitler stared down from the walls of government headquarters and the Legislative Council building in Admiralty, next to the Central business district, the epicenter of the protest movement against him.

In the early hours of Thursday, police used pepper spray to stop protesters from blocking a major road near Leung's office amid public anger over the police beating and kicking, captured on video, of a protester a day earlier.

At police headquarters in the entertainment district of Wan Chai, hundreds of people gathered outside to express outrage at the beating, with dozens queuing to lodge formal complaints.

Authorities on Wednesday said the officer involved in the beating of Ken Tsang Kin-chiu, a member of the pro-democracy Civic Party, would be suspended.

Footage of the beating has gone viral and injected fresh momentum into the protest that had been flagging after nearly three weeks of demonstrations.

Tsang was taken to hospital and activists released photographs showing bruising on his face and body.

Several social workers printed a "wanted" poster with color pictures of the police officers they said were responsible.

"I think the police have betrayed us Hong Kong citizens," said Tony Yip, 23, a research assistant at a science museum. "They are using violence against ordinary citizens."

A few hundred protesters were camped out on Thursday around the main protest site in Admiralty and the atmosphere was calm.

At its peak, 100,000 protesters had been on the streets, presenting Beijing with one of its biggest political challenges since it crushed pro-democracy demonstrations in and around Tiananmen Square in the Chinese capital in 1989.

Those numbers have dwindled significantly. But a hardcore group of demonstrators, mostly students, has kept up the pressure on Hong Kong authorities, who have called the protests illegal.

China rules Hong Kong under a "one country, two systems" formula that gives the city wide-ranging autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, with universal suffrage an eventual goal.

But Communist Party rulers, fearful that demands for democracy might spread to the mainland, say only candidates vetted by a nominating committee will be able to contest a full city-wide vote to choose the next chief executive in 2017.

Leung has said there is "zero chance" Beijing will give in to protesters' demands, a view shared by most political analysts and many Hong Kong citizens.

Hong Kong's most prominent property tycoon, Li Ka-shing, on Wednesday urged the protesters to go home - in one of the world's most expensive cities where the vast majority cannot afford their own home.

Li, Asia's richest man and chairman of property developer Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd, had made no public comment on the protests but broke his silence to say if Hong Kong's rule of law broke down it would be the city's "greatest sorrow".

"I urge everyone not to be agitated," he said. "I urge everyone not to let today's passion become the regret for tomorrow. I earnestly request everyone to return to their families."

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