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HONG KONG (AP) — Thousands of Hong Kong students have begun boycotting classes today over Beijing's decision to restrict electoral reforms in the former British colony.
The weeklong strike marks the latest phase in the battle for democracy in the southern Chinese city, and comes as a big group of Hong Kong's tycoons visits Beijing to discuss the reforms with China's communist leaders. Hong Kong's billionaire business leaders tend to support Beijing's policies.
Strike organizers are dismayed over Beijing's decision in August to rule out open nominations for candidates, instead demanding they be vetted by a committee. That's raised fears candidates will be screened for loyalty to Beijing.
The battle over democracy in Hong Kong has led to an increasingly tense and divided city, with activists threatening to stage a mass "occupation" of the Asian financial hub's central business district as early as Oct. 1 as part of a civil disobedience campaign to press their demands.
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