Hong Kong students on strike in democracy battle

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONG KONG (AP) — Thousands of Hong Kong students are gearing up to boycott classes 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. The city's billionaire business leaders tend to support Beijing's policies.

Students will start the class walkout by rallying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus on Monday afternoon.

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.