She said police weren't trying to come into the campus, but were trying to isolate protesters and limit their access to supplies.
Inside the campus, exhausted and scared protesters sounded notes of defiant even as they rationed their remaining food and bottled water.
Multiple worldwide rights groups, including UK-based NGOs Amnesty global and Hong Kong Watch, have repeatedly voiced concerns about the police's violent tactics against protesters and journalists.
A police officer prepares to fire tear gas canisters during a clash with protesters near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong on Monday.
On Monday, students tried unsuccessfully to break through a police cordon and flee.
"I believe they won't charge my son, because he's just helping people".
Their eventual capitulation comes after some got away in a daring escape staged late Monday night.
A small band of anti-government protesters, their numbers diminished by surrenders and failed escape attempts, remained holed up at a Hong Kong university early Wednesday as they braced for the endgame in a police siege of the campus.
"If the police really go in to clear the place, once they're inside no one knows what would happen in there".
Lawmakers, educators and religious leaders turned out to negotiate the release of the students.
Hong Kong police have arrested a 21-year-old Japanese man amid pro-democracy protests in the region, diplomatic sources said Tuesday. The city's police deny accusations of brutality and say they have shown restraint.
Asked Tuesday under what conditions she would ask the PLA's garrison in Hong Kong for help, Lam said if the city's authorities could not competently deal with the "rioters" and escalating violence.
Mr Manning said graduations planned for some of the students have been cancelled and plans have been made to pay for them to return to the UK.
Tang has been on the police force for more than 30 years and takes over from Lo Wai-chung, who is retiring after 35 years of service. The popular tunnel remained shut due to extensive damage, authorities said.
The High Court ruled Monday that emergency laws that prohibited the wearing of masks at protests were unconstitutional, saying they were "incompatible" with the legal structure that was established when Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.
China hinted it might overrule the Hong Kong high court ruling that struck down the face mask ban that was aimed at preventing protesters from hiding their identities and evading arrest.
Only China's parliament has the right to rule on Hong Kong's Basic Law - the city's mini-constitution, Zang Tiewei, a spokesman for the body, said in comments carried by state-run media.
In another ominous signal, China insisted Tuesday it had sole authority to rule on constitutional matters in Hong Kong, which it rules under a special model giving the city greater freedoms than enjoyed on the mainland.
In a statement to Global News, U of C vice-provost Susan Barker confirmed there are two students now on an exchange program in Hong Kong.
Protests started in June as a peaceful condemnation of a now-shelved China extradition bill.
Early today, Lam in a live-streamed news conference appealed for calm and called for end to violence which has engulfed Hong Kong Polytechnic University for the last several days.
The new phase of the protests has led to chaos throughout Asia's financial hub, with schools closed, train lines disrupted and major roads blocked by barricades.
Other protesters have shifted their demonstrations, which have convulsed the territory for 23 consecutive weekends, to key commercial areas during weekdays.
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