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Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam to withdraw extradition bill – SCMP

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Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam will announce fomal withdrawal of  the controversial extradition bill, reported the South China Morning Post on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.

The withdrawal of the bill is one of the major demands of pro-democracy protesters who have demonstrated against the government for almost three months. Lam has called a 4 p.m. meeting with pro-establishment politicians, the SCMP said.

Her move comes after a weekend that saw some of the fiercest clashes between protesters and riot police. Demonstrators have lobbed petrol bombs and set bonfires in the streets, while police officers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray, making more than 1,100 arrests since early June.

Hong Kong stocks soared, led by real estate developers, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index surging as much as 3.9 per cent.

The turmoil that followed Lam’s attempt to introduce the ill-fated bill — including mass marches that drew over 1 million people and protests that shut the city’s busy airport — have turned into the biggest crisis for Beijing’s rule over the former British colony since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

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