Hong Kong government withdraws bill that sparked protests

During his speech, Pence also claimed that China "wants a different American president, which is the ultimate proof that President Trump's leadership is working".

Taiwan's China-skeptical government initially said no Sunday when it learned that the suspect, 20-year-old Chan Tong-kai, was willing to fly back to face a trial.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which Norman Chan headed for a decade, is widely respected as an independent institution that has successfully managed the territory's USA dollar currency peg for nearly 40 years.

"We made a professional and impartial decision over whether to prosecute", Cheng said on Wednesday, adding that Hong Kong follows a legal principle that restricts its courts to only handling cases that took place within Hong Kong territory.

Chief Executive Lam has become a lightning rod for protests over fears that Beijing is tightening its grip, limiting the freedoms enjoyed under the "one country, two systems" principle enshrined when colonial ruler Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997.

The murder suspect, Chan Tong-kai, has spent the last 19 months in prison in Hong Kong.

Pence hailed the mass movement that has erupted in Hong Kong seeking to preserve the city's semi-autonomous status after Beijing attempted to allow extraditions into the mainland.

"We are solemnly telling the Hong Kong government that you have to take full responsibility for all bitter consequences", the council statement said.

Lawmaker Raymond Chan told VOA that he, too, would not ease up on his demands within the halls of the legislative body.

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Chan, who is suspected of killing his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing (潘曉穎) in Taiwan in February previous year before returning to Hong Kong, reportedly said that he would be willing to turn himself in to Taiwanese authorities once released from prison in Hong Kong today. "The government hopes Hong Kong will be chaotic forever and make Taiwanese people think the chaos will land here".

Chan was arrested by Hong Kong police in March 2018 and authorities there were only able to find evidence against him for money laundering.

"The accused person has already indicated his willingness to surrender and it should be handled quickly without hindrance so that justice is done", John Lee, Hong Kong's security secretary, told reporters Wednesday.

Despite Lam's reported emotions, she has continuously condemned violent protests and warned affiliated demonstrators of possible intervention from mainland China. The measure drew intense criticism, and was introduced under a Hong Kong emergency law earlier this month.

Although the bill was finally withdrawn, the protests have continued, defying police rulings banning them.

Lam reluctantly agreed to withdraw the extradition bill two-and-a-half months after anti-government protests escalated in June, although its formal withdrawal is unlikely to end the unrest.

Tsai Ing-wen. File Photo: Taiwan Gov't.

After all that, Pence said that the U.S. wants to continue doing business with China, and relying on Beijing's cooperation in denuclearizing North Korea and enforcing United States sanctions against Iran - something China has no obligation to do.

  • Sonia Alvarado