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A senior city official in Hong Kong told Reuters on Tuesday that China will not allow chief executive Carrie Lam to resign as protesters demanded, even if she wants to. Lam offered more unqualified contrition in her latest public statement but said she intends to remain in office.
Demonstrators scored a victory over the weekend by pressuring the pro-Beijing city government to suspend proceedings on a controversial extradition bill, which critics say would fatally compromise Hong Kong’s autonomy and place both citizens and visitors at the mercy of China’s politically compromised justice system.
Demonstrators - Streets - Extradition - Bill - Withdrawal
Demonstrators continue to pack the streets, demanding the extradition bill’s permanent withdrawal instead of indefinite suspension, plus Lam’s resignation. The official who spoke with Reuters indicated Beijing is unwilling to accept such a humiliating outcome, predicting Lam’s resignation is “not going to happen.”
“She’s appointed by the central government, so for her to step down requires a very high level of considered discussion and deliberation at the mainland level,” the official noted.
Hong - Kong - Autonomy - Democracy - Panel
Hong Kong’s limited autonomy does not include full-blown representative democracy, a panel heavily stacked in favor of Beijing’s interests typically appoints its senior officials. Lam’s resignation could pave the way for further demands to allow the direct election of city officials, an outcome enthusiastically desired by pro-democracy demonstrators but resolutely opposed by the Chinese Communist Party.
As Reuters’ source put it, from Beijing’s perspective, Lam’s resignation would “create more sorts of problems than it solves, at all sorts of levels.”
Reuters - China - Hong - Kong - Macau
Reuters asked China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office if Lam would be allowed to resign, but the office did not respond.
Lam’s initial statement after the extradition bill was suspended was seen as peevish and filled with too many insults against the protest movement. She tried again on Tuesday, offering her “most sincere...
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