Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers and activists rejected a new apology yesterday by the city’s leader over a highly unpopular extradition bill, demanding that she quit and that the legislation be scrapped completely.
Lam’s plea for “another chance” drew a chorus of criticism, though members of pro-Beijing political parties and her Cabinet, the Executive Council, expressed their support. Some activists said if the government does not meet those and other demands by a 5 p.m. Thursday deadline, they plan a mass “resistance movement.”
That would follow a peaceful but rousing march Sunday by some 2 million people worried that the legislation would further compromise the dwindling autonomy of the former British colony.
Asked repeatedly for a reassurance that she was dropping the bill that would allow some Hong Kong suspects to be tried in mainland Chinese courts, Beijing-appointed Lam would only say she would not revive it without certainty of its acceptance.
“In recognition of the anxiety and fears caused by the bill in the last few months, if we don’t have confidence from the people we will not proceed with the legislative exercise again,” Lam said.
“I will not proceed with this legislative exercise if these fears and anxieties could not be adequately addressed,” she said.