HONG KONG (AP) — Three weeks ago, students at a rally stormed a fenced-off courtyard outside Hong Kong’sgovernment headquarters, triggering unprecedented mass protests for greater democracy in the semiautonomous Chinese city.
Since then, the movement has spiraled into a volatile and dangerous crisis with no clear endgame. Support for protesters is fast waning, as days of violent clashes between activists, their opponents and police overshadow the movement. Vast differences over political reforms divide the students and the government. Key thoroughfares remain closed. Some protesters are digging in for the long haul at the main occupation zone, while others fight to retake ground lost to police.
Against this backdrop, a government offer to negotiate with students appears highly unlikely to resolve the largest uprising since the former British colony returned to Chinese control 17 years ago.