Despite massive protests against a proposed extradition law, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday refused to drop the legislation.
However, Lam said that that she will reach out to critics of her controversial extradition bill which seeks to send fugitives to China for trial, South China Morning Post reported.
Talking to reporters, Lam said: “The government would put on record its commitments to human rights safeguards as part of any future process.”
She promised to seek more inputs from public over the legislation.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday to protest the government’s controversial extradition bill with people carrying banners saying "No Extradition" through the streets.
Protesters claim that, if passed, the legislation will put many at risk for extradition to China for political crime and have called for Lam to resign.
“For those who have expressed their views, whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with us, I want to thank every one of you because … the scrutiny of our work is an important factor to enhance governance of Hong Kong,” she said.
She refused to step down saying she had "given everything since taking office two years ago".
"A stable government was needed at a time when the city faces economic instability,” she said.
Conceding that protestors were concerned about the proposed legal changes, Lam said her government will take on board suggestions put forward by some pro-establishment parties last evening.
“The law was proposed out of conscience and commitment to Hong Kong,” she added, dismissing claims that Beijing had a role to play in it.
Lam argued that the “generally” peaceful protests on Sunday “had once again proved that the freedoms and rights of Hong Kong had not been eroded”.
The demonstrations are said to be the largest since pro-democracy Umbrella Movement rallies in 2014 when protesters used umbrellas to shield against pepper spray by police.
Hong Kong is governed through a dual system under which the government oversees internal affairs but foreign and defense policies are decided by China.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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