Huge crowds have shut down central areas of the Chinese city with mass sit-ins all week and had set a midnight deadline for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to quit and for Beijing to guarantee the former British colony full democracy.

With his office besieged by thousands of protesters and tensions with police high, a defiant Leung appeared minutes before midnight rejecting calls to go, but offered talks to one prominent student group in a bid to break the impasse.
Hong Kong is set to return to work on Friday after a two-day public holiday, but major roads and transport routes remain crippled by the chaos.
"I will not resign because I have to continue with the work for elections," Leung said, referring to upcoming polls in 2017 which are at the centre of the ongoing confrontation between demonstrators and the Beijing-backed city authorities.
In a concession, the Chief Executive said he would appoint Chief Administration Secretary Carrie Lam to lead talks with the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), one of several groups behind the demonstrations in the financial hub.

In a statement released early on Friday, HKFS said they would meet Lam but renewed calls for Leung's resignation, vowing to continue their occupation if their demands were not met.

"CY Leung has already lost all his integrity and betrayed people's trust in him... His resignation is only a matter of time," HKFS said.

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