Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has announced the withdrawal of an extradition bill that sparked months of protests.
The bill, which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party, triggered months of unrest and posed the gravest challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
It led to massive protests that have become increasingly violent and caused the airport to shut down earlier this month.
Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, had previously suspended the bill, but protesters demanded it be fully withdrawn. They have also called for democratic reforms to Hong Kong’s government and an independent inquiry into police actions against protesters.
But Lam said in a pre-recorded television message on Wednesday that the government would not accept other demands, including an independent inquiry into alleged police misconduct against protesters. However, she named two new members to a police watchdog agency investigating the matter.
Protesters have also called for the release of those detained without charges, but Lam said this was unacceptable.
A lawmaker said the withdrawal of the bill was too little, too late.
The Hong Kong stock market soared 4 per cent Wednesday, boosted by news of the possible bill withdrawal.
With files from The Associated Press