Hong Kong leader offers 'most sincere apology' as bill may expire

Mr. Wong, who was imprisoned for his role in the 2014 demonstrations and sit-ins, dubbed the "Umbrella Movement", was released from prison on Monday after serving half of a two-month sentence on a contempt charge.

The pro-Beijing leader, known as "the fighter" for her tough leadership style, said she planned to serve until the end of her three-year term in 2020, adding she is passionate about the future of Hong Kong and recognised those protesting shared that sentiment.

Although Lam gave an apology in person on Tuesday afternoon, she did not agree to the demands of demonstrators who attended a "two million-strong" march on Sunday. She is beholden to the Chinese government, not the people of Hong Kong.

A senior Hong Kong official close to Mrs Lam said yesterday that Beijing was not likely to let her step down, even if she wanted to, saying "it would create more problems than it solves, at all sorts of levels".

But Lu from China's foreign ministry said the protests are "not in line with the mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong". Mourners piled flowers at the site of a man who fell to his death after hanging a protest banner.

He tweeted: "Hello world and hello freedom".

The head of private banking operations at an another worldwide bank in Hong Kong said his clients have also been moving money out of Hong Kong to Singapore.

Lots of countries have extradition bills, why is this so contentious?

"It's time for a lesson, to let Carrie Lam know what's respect", Mr Wong told reporters. "Drop all political prosecutions!"

Tens of thousands of protesters carry posters and banners Sunday in Hong Kong as they continue to protest an extradition bill.

Some activists said if the government does not meet those and other demands by a 5 p.m. Thursday deadline, they plan a mass "resistance movement". The protesters, many in masks and other gear to guard against possible use of tear gas, argued with police for a time but eventually relented.

Many accuse China of extensive meddling, including obstruction of democratic reforms, interference with elections and of being behind the disappearance of five Hong Kong-based booksellers, starting in 2015, who specialized in works critical of Chinese leaders.

The bill has ignited several large protests, including the huge march on Sunday and another of as many as 1 million people a week earlier. Activists believe it undermines legal rights and judicial independence, and the legislation has since been suspended.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong's government headquarters reopened Tuesday as the number of protesters outside dwindled to a few dozen and life returned to normal in the former British colony.

They anxious they would lose their seats in the coming election as they had noticed some of their supporters, especially those previously who had a neutral stance, were angered over the government's handling of the amendment and the excessive police force used during last Wednesday's clashes.

The government building was closed Monday.

Hong Kong - The fallout from a controversial extradition bill proposed by Hong Kong's pro-China Chief Executive Carrie Lam has reportedly triggered capital flight and Bitcoin trading at a premium in the city.

After daybreak Monday, police announced that they want to clear the streets. In some places, the protesters quickly moved to put them back to block traffic.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has apologized for the extradition bill that set off massive protests, but said she would not resign.

Shortly after daybreak, the police asked for co-operation in clearing the road but said the protesters could stay on the sidewalks. Protesters responded with chants, some kneeling in front of the officers.

The activists have rejected Lam's apologies for her handling of the legislation, which touched a nerve not easily soothed in a city anxious over the increasingly authoritarian Communist rule of Chinese president Xi Jinping. Estimates of the crowd's size ranged from the police figure of 338,000 to organizers' estimate of almost 2 million, the Morning Post reports.

  • Leroy Wright