Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will reportedly announce the withdrawal of a contentious extradition bill that has sparked months of mass protests and dampened investor sentiment.
According to the South China Morning Post and other local media reports, Lam is due to make the announcement on Wednesday. CNBC sources confirmed that Lam will be calling for an urgent meeting with pro-Beijing supporters on Wednesday, but the agenda has not been confirmed.
The full withdrawal of the bill is one of five demands that protesters have been fighting for.
The proposed bill would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China for trial. Despite Lam’s suspension of the bill in July, protesters continued to rally. On Sunday, the city saw it’s most violent day since mass protests broke out in early June.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong soared more than 4% during Wednesday afternoon trade following reports the bill will be withdrawn.
The reported meeting comes a day after Lam quelled rumors of Beijing’s rejection to her resignation. She said on Tuesday she had never asked the Chinese government to let her resign to end Hong Kong’s political crisis.
Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when it became a special administrative region of China under the “one country, two systems” framework which allows the territory a certain degree of legal and economic autonomy. There are rising concerns among the ct the territory’s citizens are now concerned that their civil rights are being eroded under Beijing’s rule.
Hong Kong protesters released their five demands in July. The demands include the following:
- fully withdraw from a proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong people to be extradited to mainland China
- retract any characterization of the movement as a “riot”
- drop all charges against anti-extradition protesters
- set up an independent committee to investigate the use of force by Hong Kong police
- universal suffrage in elections for the city’s chief executive officer and legislature by 2020.
— CNBC’s Vivian Kam contributed to this report.