Hong Kong saw history Tuesday evening as five government officials faced off in a live televised dialogue with student leaders wearing black T-shirts emblazoned “Freedom Now.” Last month lead student representative Alex Chow spent a weekend in police custody—an arrest that helped drive hundreds of thousands to follow his example of civil disobedience. So the talks marked a milestone for Hong Kong’s democracy movement. But they did not bode well for the likelihood of compromise.
That’s because the main offer made to the students by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam was that the government would submit a report to Beijing on the past months’ protests. Really.
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