hong kong umbrella revolution
A man holding a candle stands under an umbrella during a demonstration in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters, in Boston, Massachusetts Reuters

The Chinese Ambassador to Germany has warned that Hong Kong's reputation as a financial centre is "in danger", as pro-democracy protesters continue to occupy the city's business district.

Shi Mingde told Reuters that for now, the situation was secure, "but if shares fall, if the unrest continues, then the social order and [Hong Kong's] role as a financial centre will be in danger. This is neither in Hong Kong's nor China's interest".

The Occupy Central movement have demanded that CY Leung, the CEO of Hong Kong, steps down today (Thursday 2 October) and that the Chinese government in Beijing allow for fully democratic elections to take place in order to choose his successor.

If Leung does not step down, student protesters have vowed to occupy government buildings. At a news conference, vice-president of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, Lester Shum, said that Leung must step down but added that the organisers of the protests would welcome the chance to speak with a Chinese central government official.

Leung has shown no inclination of co-operating, instead demanding that protesters call off their huge demonstrations, which have led to financial firms looking to move staff away from Hong Kong's financial district.

China has refuted any pressure from overseas to allow the passage of democratic change to take place in Hong Kong, which it reclaimed from British rule under the clear auspices that it would retain a level of autonomy. However, the move from China in August to allow only Beijing-approved candidates to stand in the 2017 elections appears to fly in the face of the handover agreement.

"The Chinese government has very firmly and clearly stated its position. For any country, for any society, no-one will allow those illegal acts that violate public order," said the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi after a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington.

Despite reports that the number of protesters has started to subside, this is China's biggest diplomatic crisis for 25 years, in the anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square, in 1989.

Markets in Hong Kong and China are today closed for a public holiday, but had been following in the first half of the week.