02:30 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Police officers advance toward anti-extradition bill protesters during a protest in Hong Kong

    Hong Kong Leader Refutes Reports About Plans to Resign Amid Ongoing Protests

    © REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday refuted the reports about her plans to resign in light of ongoing protests, which have been raging on in the city since June.

    "Since the beginning [of the crisis] and until this moment I have never asked for the resignation from the Chinese government and never thought about discussing the resignation with the Chinese government", Lam said a press conference on Tuesday stressing that staying in power was her own choice.

    The politician added that she was disappointed that her thoughts expressed in a private talk were recorded and sent to the media.

    "I think this is unacceptable", Lam said.

    The chief executive noted that during the talk she wanted to stress that it was an easy choice to resign, but she would further stay in power with her team to help Hong Kong and its citizens to overcome the crisis.

    "I know that it would not be a simple path, so I said that I had no right to choose the easy path - to resign. I prefer to stay and follow this path together with my team and the citizens of Hong Kong", Lam concluded.

    An anti-extradition bill protester throws a stone at police during clashes in Tsuen Wan in Hong Kong, China August 25, 2019.

    In the meantime, Beijing has backed the politician in her decision to stay in office.

    "We firmly support Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam in leading the SAR (Special Administrative Region) government", spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Chinese government Yang Guang said at a press conference.

    On Monday, media reported about a leaked recording of Lam saying that she would resign if she could. The Hong Kong leader reportedly noted that she was extremely limited in actions to respond to the crisis, as the situation in the city became an issue of national security and sovereignty for China amid tensions with the United States, adding that she had no other choice.

    The mass protests in Hong Kong initially began in early June as a reaction to proposed amendments to the city's extradition laws but over the months have grown into a full-blown opposition movement.

    Although the Hong Kong authorities have announced the indefinite suspension of the initiative, the demonstrators continue to call for its complete withdrawal for consideration.

    Anti-extradition bill protesters hold an American flag at a gathering at Chater House Garden in Hong Kong on August 16, 2019. - Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement faces a major test this weekend as it tries to muster another huge crowd following criticism over a recent violent airport protest and as concerns mount over Beijing's next move.
    © AP Photo / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA
    Anti-extradition bill protesters hold an American flag at a gathering at Chater House Garden in Hong Kong on August 16, 2019. - Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement faces a major test this weekend as it tries to muster another huge crowd following criticism over a recent violent airport protest and as concerns mount over Beijing's next move.

    They also demand the resignation of Lam, the retraction of the government’s classification of the violent clashes as riots, an independent inquiry into police violence and the release of everyone arrested during the conflict.

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    Carrie Lam, Protest, Hong Kong, China
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