HONG KONG, Sep. 5 (Reuters / EP) –
The head of the Hong Kong Government, Carrie Lam, said Thursday during a press conference that the Chinese authorities support her “completely” and “understand and respect” her decision to definitively withdraw the extradition law to mainland China , a measure that he hopes will serve to end the crisis that has hit the special administrative region for months.
Lam's words have taken place one day after he formally withdrew the bill. “It is not correct to describe this as a change of opinion,” he said.
In this regard, he has endorsed that the decision to formally withdraw the measure has been backed by Beijing. “Throughout the process, the Chinese Government understood why we had to do it. They have respected my point of view and supported me completely, all the time,” he said.
“We have to find a way to address society's discontent and find solutions,” he said in relation to the proposal to engage in a “direct dialogue” between the Government and the Hong Kong people.
The final withdrawal of the bill was one of the five demands of the protesters, but many of them believe that the decision has been taken too late and that it lacks sufficient meaning.
The other four demands are: the withdrawal of the word “disturbance” to refer to demonstration, the release of detained protesters, the opening of an independent investigation into police brutality and the right of the Hong Kong people to elect their own leaders .
The Head of Government has assured that the participants in this dialogue will be free to express their opinions and complaints in order to “independently examine the serious problems”, recognizing that they are political, economic and social, and help the Government to finding solutions.
The protests began last June for the Government's intention to pass a law that would allow any suspect required by the Beijing authorities to send to mainland China.
In this time, thousands of people have taken the financial center, subway and train stations and the Hong Kong International Airport to demand the definitive withdrawal of the bill, which they consider an affront to the rights and freedoms regime inherited from the colonial period.