Hong Kong protest leaders reject chief executive’s dialogue platform plans

Elias Hubbard
August 21, 2019

It will also look into complaints against police, including those pertaining to an incident in Yuen Long on July 21, when white-clad mobs indiscriminately attacked protesters, passengers and journalists in the subway station, Lam said.

Speaking to reporters before Tuesday's regular Executive Council meeting, Lam said she hoped the nonviolent weekend assembly, in which tens of thousands took part, indicated that peace was returning to the city.

Lam didn't say that the communication platform will be used to specifically contact protesters.

Organizers estimated that more than one million people had joined the rally, many dressed in black as a symbol of the new anti-government movement, according to CNN.

Unrest began in Hong Kong in June, when people started taking to the streets to protest a proposed bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited and stand trial overseas.

But instead of answering to demands, including the full withdrawal of the bill that would allow fugitive transfer to mainland China and the setting up of an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, Lam said a probe carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Council will be prolonged and dialogue with "all walks of life" will be held soon.

Some of the protests have turned violent and resulted in clashes between police and protesters, with officers resorting to using tear gas, rubber bullets and other tactics, and crowds countering by throwing bricks, bamboo sticks and gasoline bombs.

She called for a "sincere dialogue" with all sections of the society and said: "All my principal officials and I are committed to listening to what the people have to tell us".

Lam has made tose assurances before, and demonstrators want the bill completely withdrawn.

Under the "one country, two systems" formula that was structured in 1997 after China re-integrated Hong Kong from the British colony, guaranteed freedom to Hong Kong included the right to an independent judiciary and the right to protests.

A raft of measures with total government spending of 19.1 billion Hong Kong dollars (2.43 billion USA dollars) have been rolled out to support growth and relieve the burden on businesses and individuals. We can see this from the data in the first half.

The protests are exacting a toll on Hong Kong's economy and tourism, with the Asian financial hub on the verge of its first recession in a decade. "Actually, I think the data in the first half has not fully reflected the seriousness of the problem", she said.

China has also put strong pressure on big companies, especially Cathay Pacific Airways.

Mr Hogg's sudden departure was announced by Chinese state television on Friday and was seen as a signal to other multinationals, such as HSBC Holdings and Jardine Matheson Holdings, to support Beijing.

The rally held Sunday was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front, a pro-democracy organization that had also organized two mass peaceful protests in June, as reported by CNN.

China's State Council on Monday called for greater development of the southern city of Shenzhen and integration of its culture and economy with neighbouring Hong Kong and Macau, a former Portuguese-run enclave that returned to China in 1999.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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