Zhang Dejiang seeks to tackle increasingly strident calls in the city for greater autonomy, or even independence from the mainland HONG KONG — A top-ranked Chinese official began a rare visit to Hong Kong on Tuesday, vowing to listen to residents’ political concerns, seeking to tackle increasingly strident calls in the city for greater autonomy, or even independence from the mainland.The visit by Zhang Dejiang, the first by a senior Chinese figure since the 2014 Occupy democracy protests, was officially to attend an economic summit. However, his first comments addressed the hot-button political issue of Hong Kong’s relationship with China."(I will listen to) all sectors of society’s suggestions and demands on how … the country and Hong Kong should develop," Zhang told reporters at Hong Kong airport.Zhang heads the National People’s Congress, which is China’s parliament.Following the Occupy protests, a handful of activists have been calling for an outright breakaway from China, a mov...

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