Passions Run High Ahead of Hong Kong Debate

Thousands of police and protesters are expected to converge on Hong Kong's Legislative Council on Wednesday when lawmakers debate a Beijing-backed electoral reform plan that could trigger fresh pro-democracy protests in the Chinese-controlled city. The former British colony has reinforced security after mass protests crippled parts of the Asian financial hub late last year and presented China's ruling Communist Party with one of its biggest political challenges in decades. Police were deployed inside the council complex overnight, while some roads leading to government buildings were closed. Activist groups said they expected 100,000 protesters to show up on Wednesday, while police sources said more than 5,000 specially trained officers would be on standby.