China won't allow Carrie Lam to step down despite mass unrest in HK: Sources
Updated: 2019-06-18 10:05:07 KST
Protest organizers in Hong Kong say almost two million people turned out on Sunday to demand the island's Chief Executive Carrie Lam step down, in what's becoming the most significant challenge to China's relationship with the territory since it was handed back by Britain 22 years ago.
And on Monday evening, hundreds of protesters gathered by the entrance of Lam's office, again demanding her resignation over a now indefinitely-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong citizens to be sent to mainland China for trial.
"Oh, we definitely want her (Carrie Lam) to step down, because I think the Hong Kong people are not trusting her anymore."
"I want to tell everybody we have freedom of speech (to demand Lam steps down). Because this is Hong Kong, we can show people that this is a city with freedom."
Despite the drumbeat of calls for her resignation, one Chinese official close to the matter said "it's not going to happen" adding Lam was appointed by the central government, and her position requires a very high level of considered discussion and deliberation in Beijing.
However, watchers say Beijing's leaders could eventually consider removing her from office.
In 2003, after a massive protest against security laws that were eventually scrapped, Hong Kong's then-leader Tung Chee-hwa resigned midway into his second term.
Despite Beijing's insistence that Lam stay in office, sources say the recent unrest has damaged Lam politically in the eyes of Beijing and it's highly unlikely she will seek a second term.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.