Hong Kong’s government has suspended, but will not withdraw, to bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China, the territory’s chief executive said Saturday, an apparent commitment after days of massive protests that saw violence between police and young demonstrators in the global financial hub
But protest organizers insisted the government’s decision is not enough and they will go ahead with another planned march Sunday.
The measure will be halted for the moment to restore calm and order to the city, according to chief executive Carrie Lam, although she said she is not trying to “pacify” protesters.
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She continued to stand by the bill – which she said was introduced by her government independently, rather than on the direction of Beijing – insisting it had “laudable” objectives.
The purpose is very simple: people in Hong Kong want a relatively calm and peaceful environment, “he said, adding that he” has no intention “of completely shelving the legislation.
Lam has delayed plans that would allow the territory to extradite fugitives to countries that do not have a formal extradition treaty with Hong Kong, which is crucial in mainland China. The legislature, which is controlled by a pro-Beijing bloc, expected to pass the bill in July.
Suspending the bill without withdrawing it altogether means that “the government can reinstate it in the legislative process, on second reading, immediately” and carry it out at any time, said Mathew Wong, assistant professor at the University of Education in Hong Kong.