HONG KONG – Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said Saturday the murder suspect whose case was the spark that started the fire of the Hong Kong protests — an extradition proposal to allow Hong Kong to transfer suspects to Taiwan, as well as mainland China, among other places, that Lam has announced will be withdrawn — is ready to turn himself in to Taiwanese authorities.
Lam said Chan Tong-kai wrote to her, saying he would “surrender himself to Taiwan” in connection with his alleged involvement in a murder case.
Chang is accused of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan. When he fled back to Hong Kong, he was arrested on money laundering charges but is expected to be released soon.
Hong Kong is facing the 20th straight weekend of anti-government protests, after both sides revealed this week that they are digging in.
Protesters say they won’t back down from their “five demands” on Hong Kong’s government, and Lam said she would make no concessions to protesters.
Lam’s hardline position was echoed earlier this week by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who went a step further and warned that anyone advocating Hong Kong’s independence from China risked “crushed bodies and shattered bones.”
But protesters say they’re not giving up. On Friday, more than 1,000 people flooded the city’s financial center, marching past banks and luxury stores, drawing hordes of curious onlookers and bringing traffic to a halt.
The protesters’ main demands include universal suffrage, an investigation of police violence, amnesty for protesters and the full, official withdrawal of the extradition bill, which would allow mainland China to try people arrested in Hong Kong.
Protests have been a near-constant presence in the city since June, even though police have outlawed unauthorized protests and the wearing of face coverings during public gatherings.
Police have not granted permission for protests planned for this weekend.
Protests are also planned for every weekend for the rest of the year — or until one side gives in.
Fern Robinson contributed to this report.