Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday she had never asked the Chinese government to let her resign to end the Chinese-ruled city’s political crisis, responding to a report about a recording of her saying she would step down if she could, APA reports citing Reuters.
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of the former British colony since mid-June in sometimes violent protests against now-suspended draft legislation that could have seen people sent to mainland China for trial in Communist Party controlled courts.
Lam told business leaders last week that she had caused “unforgivable havoc” by introducing the bill and that if she had a choice she would apologize and resign, according to a leaked audio recording.
Lam told a televised news conference that she had never considered asking to resign and that Beijing believed her government could solve the three-month-long crisis without China’s intervention.
“I have not even contemplated discussing a resignation with the central people’s government. The choice of resigning, it’s my own choice,” Lam said.
“I told myself repeatedly in the last three months that I and my team should stay on to help Hong Kong ... That’s why I said that I have not given myself the choice to take an easier path and that is to leave.”
Lam added that she was disappointed that comments made in a private meeting, where she had been sharing the “journey of my heart”, had been leaked.
In the audio recording, Lam said that her ability to resolve the crisis was “very, very limited” as she had to serve “two masters” and the issue had been elevated “to a national level”, a reference to the leadership in Beijing.
But Lam said on Tuesday that her government had the confidence of Beijing and could bring an end to unrest itself.
“I think I can lead my team to help Hong Kong to walk out from this dilemma. I still have the confidence to do this,” she said. “Up till now, the central government still thinks (the Hong Kong) government has the ability to handle this.”