Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam have said that the controversial extradition bill which would have allowed fugitives from China to be tried in mainland have been formally withdrawn.
The extradition bill which have caused unprecedented protests for the past three month has been formally withdrawn in a televised announcement by Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam.
Withdrawal of the extradition bill was one of the five demands of the Hong Kong protesters and whilst future course of action of the pro-independence protesters is awaited, the move is significant considering previous such protests have seen forceful intervention of Chinese government.
The protesters had asked , inter alia, for an independent inquiry into the alleged manhandling of the police, resignation of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam and also to put an end to calling the protests as riots.
While Carrie Lam have categorically said that the demands including her resignation isn’t feasible, she has added two new members into the police investigation team.
The extradition bill, which was suspended in June amid protest, heralded a wave of pro-democracy and pro-independence movements that saw millions of Hong Kongers protesting in the streets of Hong Kong.
The timing of the withdrawal of extradition bill is in tandem with the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China on October 1st. Hong Kong was merged into China in 1997 under ‘one country, two system’ wherein Hong Kong enjoys relative autonomy which include a free press and an independent judicial system. The proposal of the extradition bill was seen by many Hong Kongers as a move by mainland China to curb its independent judiciary.
In her withdrawal announcement, Carrie Lam have called for dialogue with protesters as well as have asked professionals and academicians to independently review and re-examine the deep-seated problems of Hong Kong and advise the government on its solutions.Carrie Lam have, however, denied to drop charges against the arrested protesters but have assured that it would work toward achieving universal suffrage.