Hong Kong leader says open to talks, but won’t budge on protester demands
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that she was open to dialogue with young people including protesters, but that she would not accept their demands.
Lam said this at a news conference following yet another weekend of protests in Hong Kong.
“It is not the question of not responding; it is a question of not accepting those demands,” she said.
Lam said she had responded to demonstrators’ main demand by killing a controversial legislative bill that would have allowed for extraditions to mainland China.
The bill on June 9 sparked the massive protests that have continued in the semi-autonomous city ever since.
Meanwhile, protesters’ demands have expanded to include the release of all arrested protesters without charges; the withdrawal of the riot characterisation; an independent investigation into alleged police violence; and electoral reform.
Lam said the government will use the same “yardstick in dealing with all forms of violence” including from protesters and police.
Clashes between demonstrators and police intensified over the weekend, with police firing a warning shot and using water cannon against protesters for the first time.
Regarding her potential resignation, Lam said it was her responsibility at this point to do her “utmost to restore law and order in Hong Kong.”