Beijing, Jun 15: The authorities of Hong Kong will announce a suspension of the bill amending extradition legislation later on Saturday in the wake of mass protests against it in the Chinese autonomous territory.
Chinese officials in charge of the Hong Kong affairs from Beijing had met in the city of Shenzhen to discuss the solution to the crisis over the bill, which critics believe would allow the government to crack down on dissent in Hong Kong.
The bill, if adopted, would empower the Hong Kong authorities to extradite suspects to various jurisdictions, including mainland China, without any bilateral agreements, which are currently required for it.The Chinese news outlet emphasised that at the meeting in Shenzhen, the officials discussed the pros and contras of suspending the bill or pushing it through the parliament, but they did not raise the issue of completely withdrawing the amendments.
The outlet added that Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the chief executive of Hong Kong, held a meeting with key city administration officials late on Friday to discuss the options, too. Another meeting is expected to be held on Saturday.A senior pro-government politician told South China Morning Post that high-ranked officials would meet with pro-government lawmakers later in the day to provide details on the reasoning behind the bill suspension.
A mass protest against the bill, involving hundreds of thousands of people, took place last Sunday and was followed by Wednesday’s rallies that turned violent and left around 80 people injured. Another demonstration is reportedly expected to be held on the upcoming Sunday.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, has blamed western politicians for instigating the protests. (UNI)