Following a series of mass protests, Carrie Lam, leader of Hong Kong on Tuesday said the controversial extradition bill to allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial was “dead.”
She however stopped short of completely withdrawing the so-called extradition bill as demonstrators have demanded.
“There are still lingering doubts about the government’s sincerity or worries (about) whether the government will restart the process with the legislative council,” she told journalists on Tuesday, referring to Hong Kong’s parliament.
“So I reiterate here, there is no such plan. The bill is dead.”
Beijing-backed Lam admitted that the government’s work on the issue had been a “total failure”.
The bill, which would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be extradited to China for trial, has sparked huge and at times violent street protests and plunged the former British colony into its biggest political crisis in decades.
The protesters appeared unimpressed with Lam’s latest attempt to reduce the political temperature in the semi-autonomous territory.
Local activist Ventus Lau Wing-Hong who was disqualified from running in elections last year after showing support for Hong Kong’s independence on Facebook said he could see no reason for the demonstrations to stop.
“The response just shows that she is still very stubborn,” Lau said. “To avoid using the word ‘withdraw’ shows that she still wants to play the word game instead of directly answering yes to our demand. I can’t see any reasons why people will stop their protests.”