Pro-democracy demonstrators guard a barricade in the Mongkok district of Hong Kong on October 22, 2014
Hong Kong student leaders said Wednesday they may shun further talks with the government, accusing it of failing to make any meaningful offers to end weeks of mass pro-democracy protests and roadblocks.
The comments are a blow to the city's Beijing-backed leaders who had expressed hopes for fresh rounds of talks after meeting students on Tuesday night for the first time.
The negotiations are widely seen as the only way to end nearly a month of protests -- calling for full democracy in the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city -- without a police crackdown or further violence.
There were fresh confrontations Wednesday afternoon between protesters and opponents who tried to remove demonstrators' road barricades in the Mongkok district.
The first talks on Tuesday night made little headway, with students calling the government "vague" in its commitment to finding a genuine compromise.
"About whether there will be talks in the future, this is something that isn't decided," Hong Kong Federation of Students secretary general Alex Chow told reporters Wednesday.
"The government has to come up with some way to solve this problem, but what they are offering does not have any practical content," Chow said, adding protesters will not leave the streets any time soon.
The two sides are at loggerheads over how the city's next leader should be chosen in 2017, when a direct election for the post will be introduced.
Protesters want the public to have the right to nominate candidates.
But Beijing ruled in August that only those vetted by a loyalist committee would be allowed to stand -- something protesters dismiss as "fake democracy".
- Limited offers -
During talks, government negotiators insisted Beijing would never agree to civil nomination.
But they made a series of conciliatory offers including a promise to brief mainland officials on recent events and a suggestion both sides could set up a "platform" to discuss further political reform beyond 2017.
Student leaders remain unimpressed, saying the government has offered nothing concrete.
If talks are abandoned, many fear a return to violent scuffles seen late last week with dozens injured after demonstrators battled police as they tried to clear barriers.
A crowd of about 70 protesters marched on the residence of Hong Kong's current leader Leung Chun-ying Wednesday afternoon, angered over his recent comments that open elections would put voting power into the hands of people "who earn less than US$1,800 a month".
"We want to protect the welfare and the rights of grassroots people in Hong Kong," Avery Ng, vice president of the League of Social Democrats, told AFP on the march.
But the ongoing protests have led to angry confrontations between local residents fed up with the disruption caused by blockades of several main roads.
In Mongkok, which has previously seen violent scuffles, opponents of the protesters tried to pull down barricades and place them in a garbage truck.
A handful of taxis were also parked on a nearby street protesting against the roadblocks.
A number of businesses -- including a taxi driver association -- successfully applied to the High Court to have injunctions brought against the protesters. But given that the camps are already considered illegal it remains to be seen what effect those injunctions will have.
However a poll taken during the protests has found support for the democracy movement has increased since before they began.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong found 37.8 percent of respondents now support the pro-democracy movement, compared to 31.1 percent in early September. The poll interviewed 802 residents between 8-15 October.
Police Wednesday warned against protesters using the Internet to advocate or commit crimes, saying a 23-year-old man had been arrested for threatening an officer's daughter online.
They said they were also investigating web users who called on supporters to occupy the city's airport.