The leader of Hong Kong insisted today that a controversial extradition bill which has sparked mass rallies and weeks of unrest is now “dead”.
Carrie Lam said in a press conference today that the government’s work on the measure had been a “total failure”, but stopped short of meeting demands to formally withdraw the bill.
Millions of residents have taken to the streets in recent weeks to show their opposition to the planned laws, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party.
“But 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 journalists.
“So I reiterate here, there is no such plan. The bill is dead.”
Fears that the extradition move could be used to crack down on dissent in the former British colony have led to violence and mass marches, marking one of the greatest challenges to Beijing authorities in decades.
In spite of the latest comments, many protesters have vowed to continue the mass demonstrations against the bill.
Chan Wai Lam William, general officer of the Student Union of Chinese University of Hong Kong, said: “What we want is to completely withdraw the bill. She is playing word games.”