Riot police fire tear gas on student protesters occupying streets surrounding the government headquarters in Hong Kong, early Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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Hong Kong democracy protesters defied volleys of tear gas and police baton charges to stand firm in the centre of the global financial hub on Monday, one of the biggest political challenges for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square crackdown 25 years ago.Tens of thousands of mostly student protesters are demanding Beijing give them full democracy, with the freedom to nominate election candidates, but China recently announced that it would not go that far.Cracking down too hard could shake confidence in market-driven Hong Kong, while not reacting firmly enough could embolden dissidents on the mainland.Televised scenes of the chaos in Hong Kong over the weekend have already made a deep impression on many viewers outside Hong Kong.Britain said it was concerned about the situation in Hong Kong and called for the right of protest to be protected.By mid-afternoon, hundreds of protesters were seen streaming again into downtown areas of Hong Kong island.Protesters called on Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying to step down.Across Hong Kong's famed Victoria Harbour, smaller numbers of protesters, including some secondary school students, also gathered in the Mong Kok district of Kowloon.
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