China supports suspension of Hong Kong extradition Bill

A broadcast of a news conference, in which Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced the suspension of a proposed extradition Bill, at a restaurant in Hong Kong on June 15, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP, REUTERS) - China's government said on Saturday (June 15) it supported the decision of Hong Kong's leader to suspend an unpopular Bill that would allow extraditions to China and which sparked a week of protests.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman called the decision, announced hours earlier by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, an attempt to "listen more widely to the views of the community and restore calm to the community as soon as possible".

"We support, respect and understand this decision," ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

He also added that Hong Kong matters were a Chinese internal affair and no country, organisation or individual has a right to interfere.

He said China's determination to safeguard the country's sovereignty and security, and Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, was unshakable.

The "one country, two systems" formula under which Hong Kong has been governed by China since 1997 has been "earnestly" put into effect, and the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people fully guaranteed, Mr Geng said.

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