After months of protests across Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, the leader of the special administrative region of China, has finally withdrawn the bill that would have allowed extradition requests to be granted to a number of countries, including mainland China.
Carrie Lam made the decision in order to diffuse the demonstrations, which had become increasingly violent and disruptive for the financial hub. Opponents of the bill feared it would threaten freedom of speech in Hong Kong and make political critics of China vulnerable.
In a video statement, Lam said, “We must find ways to address the discontent in society and look for solutions. After more than two months of social unrest, it is obvious to many that this discontentment extends far beyond the bill.”
Protestors have also demanded more democracy for Hong Kong and called for an independent commission into police conduct, but those issues have yet to be addressed. According to Lam, her priority is now restoring order to Hong Kong.
Some, however, believe that the bill’s withdrawal won’t actually quell the protests, which have turned into a huge political movement linked to a trust crisis between the people of Hong Kong, the police, and the government.