Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Officer Carrie Lam affirmed that she has no intention of resigning from her post in the face of tumultuous pro-democracy protests that have racked the economy and nearly brought the city to a standstill.
In speaking with reporters, on Tuesday, Aug. 27, Lam said she may be open to having dialog with the protesters, but first and foremost is committed to restoring law and order to the Special Administrative Region. “If violence continues, the only thing that we should do is to stamp out that violence through law enforcement actions,” Lam said.
’”We want to put an end to the chaotic situation in Hong Kong through law enforcement and so on. At the same time, we will not give up on building a platform for dialogue. I remain committed to serving the people of Hong Kong.”
Lam assumed her post in 2017, more or less as an appointment by China’s communist government in Beijing. She ultimately answers directly to Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping. Most people in Hong Kong view Lam as an advocate for the Communist Party in the mainland, rather than their own leader. Thousands of pro-democracy protesters continue to demand that Lam step down from her post, enabling a new leader to be elected by popular vote.
Lam originally introduced a controversial China-extradition bill early this summer, with the intention of pushing it through Hong Kong’s Legislature before the end of its summer working session. The bill would expand the Chinese communist government’s ability to capture and extradite criminal suspects from Hong Kong. When 1 million demonstrators filled Hong Kong’s streets in opposition to the bill, on June 9, Lam casually dismissed the protests, comparing them to the antics of “unruly children” who needed a parent’s supervision and discipline. As protests continued for more than a week, however, Lam agreed to suspend the extradition bill and apologized for it.
World leaders attending the G-7 summit in France voice support for Hong Kong’s independence
World leaders, gathered at the G-7 summit in France, issued a joint statement in support of Hong Kong’s autonomy and called for calm in the region, on Monday, Aug. 26. The G-7 member countries, which include the United States, Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, jointly stated, “The G-7 reaffirms the existence and the importance of the 1984 Sino-British agreement on Hong Kong and calls for avoiding violence.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking with reporters before his departure from the summit, said that all of the G7 leaders expressed “deep concern” over the turmoil taking place in Hong Kong. “The G7 national all want to support a stable and prosperous Hong Kong and we remain collectively committed to the one-country, two-systems framework,” Prime Minister Johnson said.
The G-7’s statements in support of Hong Kong have drawn an angry response from Beijing, who, on Tuesday, accused the Western nations as “meddling” in China’s affairs, and “harboring evil intentions.”
China foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang lashed out to say, “We express our strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the statement made by the leaders of the G7 summit on Hong Kong affairs. We have repeatedly stressed that Hong Kong’s affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and that no foreign government, organization or individual has the right to intervene.”