HONG KONG — The Latest on Hong Kong protests (all times local):
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam says the move to withdraw the extradition bill was her government’s own decision, and that it was backed by the Chinese central government.
Lam denies making a U-turn on the bill after three months of massive opposition. She says she suspended the bill in mid-June, days after massive protests begun, and had in July declared that the bill effectively dead.
She says she hopes the formal withdrawal of the bill will be an olive branch to open dialogue with aggrieved protesters and seek a way out of the impasse.
Opponents of the bill said its withdrawal was too little, too late, and the other demands made during the protests should be addressed.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says the extradition bill that sparked months of demonstrations will be formally withdrawn in the legislative council without the need for debate or vote.
Lam made her first live remarks on the withdrawal of the bill at a news conference Thursday. She said there will be no debate and no voting in the council, which resumes meeting next month and is packed with pro-Beijing lawmakers.
Withdrawal of the bill meets one of protesters’ demands, but the activists have vowed not to yield until the government accepts other demands including an independent investigation into alleged police brutality against protesters, the unconditional release of those detained and democracy.
The massive protests since June have disrupted transportation links around the city and at its international airport.