Extradition Bill

Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadlines

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that the decision to withdraw an extradition bill that sparked months of demonstrations in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory was her government’s own initiative to break the impasse, and not Beijing’s directive. Lam told a news conference that China’s central government “understands, respects and supports” her government in the entire process. Withdrawal of the bill meets one of protesters’ five key demands, but activists have vowed not to yield until the government fulfills all of them. Those also include an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality during the protests, the unconditional release of those detained, not labelling the protests as riots, and direct elections of the city’s leader. The massive but peaceful demonstrations began in June against the legislation, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, but clashes with police have become increasingly violent as the demands evolved into a wider call for democracy. Demonstrators threw gasoline bombs at officers last weekend protests and police retaliated with water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and batons. Nearly 1,200 people have been detained so far. Lam reiterated that the government cannot accede to the protesters’ other demands. She said the police watchdog agency will be impartial and best suited to investigate alleged police misconduct, and that releasing detainees without charges would be “unacceptable.” She denied making a U-turn on the bill, noting that she suspended the bill in mid-June, days after the protests began, and in July declared theContinue reading

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Carrie Lam and Xi Jinping - China and Hong Kong News

Earlier this summer, Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, submitted a report to Beijing that assessed protesters’ five key demands and found that withdrawing a contentious extradition bill could help defuse the mounting political crisis in the territory. The Chinese central government rejected Lam’s proposal to withdraw the extradition bill and ordered her not to yield to any of the protesters’ other demands at that time, three individuals with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. China’s role in directing how Hong Kong handles the protests has been widely assumed, supported by stern statements in state media about the country’s sovereignty and protesters’ “radical” goals. Beijing’s rebuff of Lam’s proposal for how to resolve the crisis, detailed for the first time by Reuters, represents concrete evidence of the extent to which China is controlling the Hong Kong government’s response to the unrest. The Chinese central government has condemned the protests and accused foreign powers of fuelling unrest. The Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned other nations against interfering in Hong Kong, reiterating that the situation there is an “internal affair.” Lam’s report on the tumult was made before an Aug. 7 meeting in Shenzhen about the Hong Kong crisis, led by senior Chinese officials. The report examined the feasibility of the protesters’ five demands, and analysed how conceding to some of them might quieten things down, the individuals with direct knowledge said. In addition to the withdrawal of the extradition bill, the other demands analysed in the report were:Continue reading

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadlines

The extradition bill that sparked Hong Kong’s biggest crisis in decades is dead, the territory’s leader said on Tuesday, adding that the government’s work on the legislation had been a “total failure”, but critics accused her of playing with words. The bill, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, sparked huge and at times violent street protests and plunged the former British colony into turmoil. In mid-June, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam responded to protests that drew hundreds of thousands of people on to the streets by suspending the bill, but demonstrations that shut government offices and brought parts of the financial centre to a standstill continued. Her latest attempt to restore order did not satisfy many protesters who stood by demands that she completely withdraw the bill and accused her of playing word games. “There are still lingering doubts about the government’s sincerity or worries whether the government will restart the process in the Legislative Council,” Lam told reporters on Tuesday. “So, I reiterate here, there is no such plan, the bill is dead.” The bill triggered outrage across broad sections of Hong Kong society amid concerns it would threaten the much-cherished rule of law that underpins the city’s international financial status. Lawyers and rights groups say China’s justice system is marked by torture, forced confessions and arbitrary detention, claims that Beijing denies. University students who have been out in force during theContinue reading

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