Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam insists she decided to withdraw extradition bill, not Beijing
- Chief executive explains reasons for decision which some have dismissed as being ‘too little, too late’
- The legislation sparked months of protests and the withdrawal of the bill is just one of five demands protesters have made since June 9
Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor dropped a bombshell on Wednesday, announcing she would formally withdraw the extradition bill that sparked months of protesting in the city. But, her dramatic U-turn drew more scepticism than hope for an end to the turmoil.
Even though Lam was finally acceding to one of the demonstrators’ five demands, protesters and politicians from both the pro-Beijing and opposition camps argued the concession was too little, too late.
In her televised announcement, Lam addressed, but did not fully acquiesce to another key demand – the setting up of an independent inquiry into the use of force by police. Instead, the chief executive said she would invite community leaders and professionals to examine the problems in society.
Lam meets the press for the first time on Thursday morning to explain her decisions, before she leaves for Nanning in Guangxi for an annual regional cooperation conference – her second official trip outside the city since the protests began on June 9.
Reporting by Denise Tsang, Tony Cheung, and Sum Lok-kei