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Wednesday, May 18, 2016, Jaistha 4, 1423 BS, Shaban 10, 1437 Hijri

Top China official promises to 'listen' to Hong Kong
Published :Wednesday, 18 May, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 16

HONG KONG, May 17 : One of China's most powerful officials said he would listen to political demands from Hongkongers in a conciliatory start to a visit on Tuesday that has stirred anger in a city resentful of Beijing's tightening grip.
The three-day trip by Zhang Dejiang who chairs China's communist-controlled legislature is the first by such a senior official in four years and comes as concerns grow in semi-autonomous Hong Kong that its long-cherished freedoms are under threat.  While Zhang is ostensibly visiting to speak at an economic conference on Wednesday, the trip is widely seen as a bid to take the temperature in an increasingly divided city with a fledgling independence movement.
It has infuriated opponents, critical of a massive security operation that involves thousands of police and barricades protesters into designated areas out of Zhang's sight. Police shoved back protesters gathered near the residence of the city's leader Tuesday night where Zhang was due to have dinner.
Seven members of pro-democracy political party the League of Social Democrats were arrested earlier after putting up protest banners, with three still detained.    ?AFP

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