BEIJING -- Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday refuted the reports about her plans to resign in light of ongoing protests, which have been raging in the city since June.
"Since the beginning [of the crisis] and until this moment I have never asked for the resignation from the Chinese government and never thought about discussing the resignation with the Chinese government," Lam said a press conference stressing that staying in power was her own choice.
Lam added that she was disappointed that her thoughts expressed in a private talk were recorded and sent to the media.
"I think this is unacceptable," Lam said.
The chief executive noted that during the talk she wanted to stress that it was an easy choice to resign, but she would further stay in power with her team to help Hong Kong and its citizens to overcome the crisis.
"I know that it would not be a simple path, so I said that I had no right to choose the easy path - to resign. I prefer to stay and follow this path together with my team and the citizens of Hong Kong," Lam concluded.
On Monday, the media reported about a leaked recording of Lam saying that she would resign if she could. The Hong Kong leader reportedly noted that she was extremely limited in actions to respond to the crisis, as the situation in the city became an issue of national security and sovereignty for China amid tensions with the United States, adding that she had no other choice.
The mass protests in Hong Kong initially began in early June as a reaction to proposed amendments to the city's extradition laws but over the months have grown into a full-blown opposition movement.
Although the Hong Kong authorities have announced the indefinite suspension of the initiative, the demonstrators continue to call for its complete withdrawal for consideration.
They also demand the resignation of Lam, the retraction of the government’s classification of the violent clashes as riots, an independent inquiry into police violence and the release of everyone arrested during the conflict. (Sputnik)