Ms Lam introduced the extradition bill to close one of Hong Kong’s “legal loopholes”. (ABC News)
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced the formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill that has plunged the Chinese-ruled city into its worst political crisis in decades.
Ms Lam made the announcement via a pre-recorded televised address broadcast on Wednesday night (local time).
The bill, which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China where courts are controlled by the Communist Party, triggered months of unrest and posed the gravest challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
The bill would have also allowed extradition of suspected criminals on a case-by-case basis to other jurisdictions without extradition treaties.
The protests against the bill in the former British colony began in March but snowballed in June and have since voiced broader existential concerns about the future of the city’s autonomy under Chinese communist rule, among other demands.
More to come.