Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam will declare the withdrawal of an extradition bill that sparked months of unrest and has thrown the Chinese-dominated metropolis into its worst crisis in a long time, Cable TV and different media said;l however, the street response was doubtful.
A government source confirmed the planned declaration on Wednesday, which comes two days after a report revealed that Lam informed business leaders last week she had caused “unforgivable destruction” by introducing the bill.
If she had a choice, she would confess and resign, based on a leaked audio recording.
During closed-door meeting, Lam told the group that she now had “very limited” room to settle the crisis since the unrest had become a national security and sovereignty concern for China amid rising spats with the USA.
Lam’s remarks are consistent with a report published on Friday that unveiled how leaders in Beijing were successfully calling the shots on dealing with the crisis.
The protests opposing the bill in the former British colony started in March; however, snowballed in June and have since emerged into a force for greater democracy.
The bill would have permitted extraditions to mainland China where the Communist Party dominates courts.
It was not immediately clear if the declaration of the bill’s elimination would help end the crisis. The quick reaction appeared doubtful and muted, and the real measure will be how many people take to the streets.
Many are livid at perceived police brutality and the number of arrests – 1,183 at the newest count – and wish a separate inquiry.
The withdrawal of the draft legislation was one of the protesters’ key demands. Lam has said earlier that the bill was “dead,” but she did not eliminate it.