Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on July 18 signaled the end of a controversial extradition bill that she promoted and then postponed after some of the most violent protests since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
In a closely watched news conference, Lam apologized for the turmoil but refused to say the bill would be “withdrawn,” only that it won’t be reintroduced during her time in office if public fears persist.
It was the strongest indicator yet that the government was effectively shelving legislation that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face trial, even if it fell short of protesters’ demands for the government to scrap the bill altogether.
“Because this bill over the past few months has caused so much anxiety, and worries and differences in opinion, I will not — this is an undertaking — I will not proceed again with this legislative exercise if these fears and anxieties cannot be adequately addressed,” Lam told reporters.
Lam used much of the same language as a previous news conference on June 15 when she announced a postponement of the bill. A day later, about 2 million people spilled onto the streets, many demanding that she step down. (Reuters)