In a setback for efforts to resolve the political crisis gripping the territory, the Hong Kong government announced Thursday evening local time that it has called off Friday's talks with student protest leaders. Appearing at a press conference, Hong Kong First Secretary Carrie Lam, the government representative in the talks, said the students failed to "meet the basic conditions for dialogue" after leaders encouraged members of the public to apply pressure on the government to make concessions. 

"This is sacrificing public good for their political demands, and is against public interests and political ethics," she said.

In response to the cancellation, Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, president of Hong Kong's Chinese University's Student Union, said that "the government taking initiative to call off the talks makes people doubt the leaders' sincerity."

Lam said the government regretted having to cancel the talks, and insisted it would set no prerequisites for their resumption if the students showed an "equal sense of sincerity."