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Hong Kong leader suspends extradition bill in ‘totally unprecedented’ move

The Hong Kong government has suspended a hugely controversial extradition bill that caused millions to take to the streets in protest.

The Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam has apologised for the bill, which would have allowed any Hong Kong citizen to be extradited to China.

Professor Bing Ling, a Chinese Law expert at the University of Sydney, tells Deborah Knight the bill is a threat to the country’s independence.

“People are afraid of having an extradition arrangement with mainland China because there has been deep-rooted fear in the public of Hong Kong of the arbitrary and abusive criminal justice process in China.

“There have been reports of mainland Chinese agents coming and abducting Hong Kong people to mainland China.”

The Chief Executive of Hong Kong has suspended the bill in a move Professor Ling says is “totally unprecedented”.

“She was appointed by Beijing to be the Chief Executive. She has been known to be very loyal to the Beijing government.

“She has been extraordinarily tone deaf to the protests of the Hong Kong public. She maintained that she would go ahead with the bill even after one million [people] marched on the street in protest.

“Now she seems to have stepped back but she has not totally withdrawn the bill, it’s just a suspension of the discussion of the bill, so I think the worries continue.”

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