A small number of defiant demonstrators continued to protest the controversial extradition bill, a day after the worst violence the city has seen in decades.
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday called the protests "organized riots" and vowed to go ahead with the controversial extradition bill, dismissing calls for her to step down.
"I will not shy away from my responsibility in introducing a piece of legislation - though we are very convinced of the justifications - that's causing this public outcry and all this divisiveness in society."
The BBC reported clashes between the protesters and police left at least seventy-two people injured, with two in critical condition. The police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters -- mostly young people and students -- who surrounded the semi-autonomous region's legislature to protest the bill which they believe will undermine the independence of Hong Kong's legal system and put its citizens and foreign nationals at risk.
The rallies were the largest Hong Kong has seen since it was handed back to China by the British in 1997.
Earlier in the week, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement calling the bill "dangerous legislation" and said it "imperils the decades long, strong U.S.-Hong Kong relationship."
The Chinese foreign ministry hit back at what it calls her "erroneous remarks" and called on Washington to stop interfering in Beijing' affairs.
Despite the delay, the bill is likely to pass the local legislature where pro-Beijing lawmakers hold 43 of the 70 seats.
Choi Si-young, Arirang News.