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Hong Kong protests: Carrie Lam sorry for extradition controversy

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks at news conference

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Mrs Lam said she personally had to shoulder much of the blame for the row

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has apologised for her handling of a controversial extradition bill – but has not offered to withdraw it.

The territory has been rocked by huge protests over the laws which would allow extradition to mainland China.

Demonstrators have been calling for Mrs Lam to resign.

The bill has been suspended but, despite Mrs Lam admitting she had “much to learn”, her statement did not address many of protesters’ demands.

“I personally have to shoulder much of the responsibility. This has led to controversies, disputes and anxieties in society,” she said.

“For this I offer my most sincere apology to all people of Hong Kong.”

Asked by the BBC’s Nick Beake why she had neither resigned nor withdrawn the bill, as demanded by protesters, she said the fact that the bill was suspended last week showed she was listening.

She said that unless the government was able to address concerns about the proposed laws “we will not proceed with the legislative exercise again”.

Media captionProtests returned to Hong Kong streets following the suspension of the extradition bill

Hong Kong has been part of China since 1997 under the “one country, two systems” principle, which allows it freedoms not seen on mainland China.

Critics say the legislation would expose people in Hong Kong to China’s deeply flawed justice system and lead to further erosion of the city’s judicial independence.

Hong Kong protests: Carrie Lam sorry for extradition controversy}

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