China 'supports HK extradition bill withdrawal'

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Ms Lam's remarks come as a dramatic U-turn to her previous statements
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said the Chinese government "understands, respects and supports" the withdrawal of the city's controversial extradition bill.The bill would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China from Hong Kong.It was seen as evidence of China's tightening control over Hong Kong, and sparked months of protests.The withdrawal is unlikely to placate protesters, who say it comes too late.In her first appearance since the announcement to formally withdraw the already-shelved bill on Wednesday, Ms Lam took questions from reporters.
Asked who made the decision to withdraw it, she said: "Throughout the whole process... [from] the early stages of taking forward the bill [to] then withdrawing the bill yesterday, the central people's government has respected my view and supported me all the way." It comes days after the release of leaked audio of Ms Lam, which implied the Chinese government had earlier rejected her proposal to withdraw the bill and ordered her not to yield to any of the protesters' other demands. The pro-Beijing leader also addressed concerns over whether the bill would actually be formally withdrawn, saying there would be no "debate [or] vote" when parliament resumed.
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