Hong Kong, 4 September 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam was expected to meet with top lawmakers on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the withdrawal of a legislative bill which caused weeks of protests, local media reported.
The South China Morning Post said Lam would meet with pro-government lawmakers at 4 pm (0800 GMT) before formally withdrawing the bill, which would have allowed for criminal extradition to mainland China.
The bill was formally suspended by Lam in June but it has failed to stop weeks of protest, which began on June 9 and have continued for 13 weeks.
Protesters have been demanding that Lam withdraw the bill completely and also step down, saying they do not trust that the bill will not be resurrected when protests die down.
Two reports published in recent weeks by Reuters and the Financial Times, citing inside sources and leaked recordings, have however suggested that Lam would step down if she could.
Lam personally championed the extradition bill earlier this year, saying that it was necessary to close legal loopholes in Hong Kong‘s extradition law.
It would have allowed for residents to be extradited on a case by case basis for serious crimes.
Many in Hong Kong, a former British colony, fear China’s legal system due to its high rate of convictions and reputation for arbitrary detention and politically motivated trials.