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Hong Kong's government is planning to formally withdraw the incendiary extradition bill which has sparked months of violent protests, reports say

Rosie Perper , Business Insider US
 Sep 04, 2019, 11:43 AM
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's chief executive, speaks during a news conference at Central Government Complex on June 15, 2019 in Hong Kong China.
Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
  • Multiple reports Wednesday suggest that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam is about to announce a formal end to the contentious extradition bill that spurred over three months of violent protest.
  • Sources told the South China Morning Post that the move is meant to "cool down the atmosphere" in the city.
  • She is expected to announce the bill's complete withdrawal after a meeting with pro-Beijing allies and cabinet members on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Lam previously attempted to appease protesters in July, saying that the bill was "dead" and adding that attempts to amend the bill had been a "total failure."
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider SA homepage.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam will announce a formal withdrawal of the contentious extradition bill that spurred over three months of violent protest, the South China Morning Post and Wall Street Journal reported, citing government and other sources.

According to the Post, she is expected to announce the bill's complete withdrawal after a meeting with pro-Beijing allies and cabinet members on Wednesday afternoon.

Complete withdrawal of the controversial bill was one of the main demands echoed by protesters, along with calls for her resignation and an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality.

"This gesture to formally withdraw is a bid to cool down the atmosphere," a source told the Post.

Two sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that Lam would withdraw the bill on Wednesday. The report did not provide further details.

Lam attempted to appease protesters in July, saying that the bill was "dead" and adding that attempts to amend the bill had been a "total failure." She did not say whether the government would withdraw the bill completely, a move which only further fueled protests.

The bill, which would allow extradition of Hong Kong residents to mainland China, sparked weeks of massive protests. It was set to be debated June 12, but that was postponed hours later after protesters blocked key roads leading to the government building.

Lam told a group of business leaders in the city that she would quit if she had a choice, according to leaked recordings her remarks obtained by Reuters. She made the comments at a closed-door meeting last week and said she had wreaked "unforgivable havoc" on the semiautonomous Chinese territory by putting forth the bill.

This is a developing story.

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