Hong Kong’s Lam Said Extradition Bill ‘Dead’; Critics Remain Skeptical, Call for Lam to Resign

  • Though Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the highly-controversial extradition bill is “dead,” her critics say her word choice is disingenuous. The bill led to continuous massive protests and violent clashes between law enforcement and protesters.
  • Lam admitted that the government’s handling of the bill was a “total failure.” Opposition to the bill led to Hong Kong’s biggest crisis since it was handed over to China from Britain in 1997.
  • On Tuesday, Lam said: “There are still lingering doubts about the government’s sincerity or worries whether the government will restart the process in the Legislative Council.”
  • Lam added: “So, I reiterate here, there is no such plan, the bill is dead. The government’s work on the bill had been a total failure.”
  • However, protesters say Lam’s remarks aren’t enough. 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.”
  • The extradition bill was designed to “allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party.” There were widespread fears that China would violate suspect’s human rights, threaten Hong Kong’s autonomy and hurt its “international financial status.”
  • In June, Lam announced the bill was suspended, but critics said it wasn’t enough and hundreds of thousands of protesters continued to take to the streets in disagreement.
  • As a result of massive protests, government offices were shut down and a legislative building was briefly taken over by protesters. The financial center was also heavily affected.
  • Demonstrators have also called on Lam to resign, but she said: “It is not a simple thing for CE (chief executive) to step down, and I myself still have the passion and undertaking to service Hong Kong people.”
  • Lam added: “I hope that Hong Kong society can give me and my team the opportunity and room to allow us to use our new governance style to respond to people’s demand in economy and in livelihood.”
  • China has supported Lam’s administration amid the protests and said the protests are a challenge to the “one country, two systems model” that governs Hong Kong.
  • Amnesty International has urged Lam “to formally withdraw the bill and called for an independent, impartial, effective and prompt investigation into police actions on June 12.”
  • On June 12, police used rubber bullets, tear gas and shot beanbag rounds at protesters. Lam replied: “Any demand that we should run an amnesty at this stage, that we will not follow up on investigations and prosecutions of offenders is not acceptable, because that bluntly goes against the rule of law in Hong Kong.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Hong Kong leader says extradition bill is dead, but critics unconvinced READ
  • USA TODAY: Hong Kong leader declares extradition bill ‘dead,’ but protesters persist READ
  • Politico: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says extradition bill ‘is dead’ after weeks of protests READ
  • NPR: Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam Says Extradition Bill Is ‘Dead,’ But Protesters Press On READ

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