Hong Kong hits ‘pause’ on China extradition bill in an attempt to restore calm
Carrie Lam, the executive director of Hong Kong, did not get to withdraw the proposal. The protesters want the bill, the resignation of Lam and the release of protesters arrested this week canceled.
That’s right, the Hong Kong leader suspended efforts to pass a bill that allows extradition to China, in a dramatic change that he said was necessary to restore order in the Asian financial center and prevent further violence and Mass protests In this way, on Saturday, Carrie Lam, executive director of Hong Kong, announced the legislative “pause”, even when the activists asked hundreds of thousands of residents who marched in protest last weekend to return to the streets and demand her resignation. Lam acknowledged that the debate had broken a period of relative calm in the former British colony, including clashes between protesters and police on Wednesday that left more than 80 people injured.
Notably, the Hong Kong Affairs Bureau and Macao, the Beijing-based agency that oversees the city, expressed “support, respect, and understanding,” the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday, quoting an anonymous spokesperson. The statement echoed Lam’s own comments during her press conference, in which she said repeatedly that the decision to suspend consideration was his.
That being the case, Lam failed to withdraw the proposal, which would allow Hong Kong to reach unique agreements with mainland China and other jurisdictions, arguing that this would contradict his belief that reform was necessary. However, she has stated that it was unlikely that the government would seek approval before the end of the year.
“Polarizing views in relation to this bill in society have given rise to violence, very serious confrontations”, Lam told reporters in a briefing that lasted 75 minutes. “That’s why I have come to the view that I have to do something decisively to address the issue of how could I restore as fast as possible the calm in society, and how could I avoid any more law enforcement officers and ordinary citizens being injured”.
Even so, the opponents fear that the legislation exploits the legal wall that separates the justice system from the city of the continent. Business groups argued that the city would lose its appeal as a financial center, while critics of the ruling Communist Party fear that they will be exposed to legal proceedings in Chinese courts.
Source: Bloomberg News — Shawna Kwan and Fion Li | National Post