Carrie Lam to proclaim legitimate withdrawal of extradition bill

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Carrie Lam told business leaders last week she had caused "unforgivable havoc" by introducing the bill and that if she had a choice she would apologise and resign, according to a leaked audio recording.

Delhi: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will announce on Wednesday the formal withdrawal of an extradition bill that triggered months of unrest and has thrown the Chinese-controlled city into its worst crisis in decades, Cable TV and other media said. The protests in former British colony began in June over the bill, which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China where courts are controlled by the Communist Party, but have since evolved into a push for greater democracy. It was not immediately clear if the announcement, due later on Wednesday, would help end the unrest. The withdrawal of the draft legislation was one of the protesters’ key demands. Lam has said before that the bill was “dead” but she did not withdraw it. Hong Kong returned to China under a “one country, two systems” formula that allows it to keep freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland, like the freedom to protest and an independent legal system, hence the anger at the extradition bill and perceived creeping influence by Beijing. The Chinese government rejected a recent proposal by Lam to defuse the conflict that included withdrawing the extradition bill altogether, three people with direct knowledge of the matter.