Hong Kong protests: Can talks end stalemate?

Updated 10:18 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
02:29 - Source: CNN
Expectations low for upcoming HK talks

Story highlights

Student leaders will meet with Hong Kong government representatives on Tuesday evening

It's the first time the two sides have met since pro-democracy protesters took to the streets

Talks best chance for peaceful end to protests that have convulsed the city

However, few expect major concessions.

(CNN) —  

Student leaders will meet with Hong Kong government representatives Tuesday, the first time the two sides have met since pro-democracy protesters took to the streets of the city more than three weeks ago.

But while the talks present the best chance for a peaceful resolution to the chaotic demonstrations that have convulsed the city and divided its residents, they are unlikely to yield major concessions given that the government and protest leaders remain poles apart.

“The start of talks is not an end in itself,” said Anson Chan, a former senior government official.

“Only the government can break the current impasse. It must show the leadership that has been totally lacking in the past three weeks, by coming to the table with proposals that offer genuine and substantial reform.”

But this seems unlikely.