Vincent Yu / AP
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the extradition bill, which gave rise to weeks of street demonstrations, is "dead" and admits that the government's handling of it was a "total failure".
The measure would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face litigation in courts controlled by the Communist Party and trigger fear of politically motivated prosecutions directed at incredible critics from China.
The background to the bill has led to the most serious challenge for the Beijing-controlled Hong Kong government since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997.
In mid-June, Lam responded to major protests by suspending the bill. but this step failed to mollify critics who continued to demonstrate against the bill and call for the resignation of Lamb.
In light of the Lamb's statement, the protests in Hong Kong are not satisfied and say that the bill should be formally withdrawn.
Prodemocracy activist Joshu en Wong tweeted that Lam tells the country the bill is dead is a "ridiculous lie" since she did not claim federal forces necessary to really kill the bill. And Wong said that the Hong Kong leader has not undertaken not to resume the bill at a later date, as protesters demand.
Activists like Wong are also pushing Lam for an independent investigation of some of the powerful tactics Hong Kong police used against protesters, who at some estimates reached about 2 million people at the height of the protest. The Riot police used tear gas, rubber balls and water cannons to spread crowds blocking roads.
Angry protesters hit bricks and bottles in clash with the police that at one point Lam called "organized tasks."
But on Tuesday, Lam said that those who protest against the extradition bill have nothing to fear.
She said she realizes that there is "long-standing doubt about the government's sincerity or concerns about whether it would restart the legislative council process", but she stressed: "There is no such plan. The bill is dead."
Under Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" government concept, the area of liberties does not hold in mainland China. Demonstrators fearing an erosion of these freedoms speak of extending their protests.
Police are still looking for protesters who disrupted the 22nd anniversary of the city's transfer from Britain to China, stormed the Legislative Council and vandalized the property.
Hong Kong protester Katherine, 26, who advocated speaking only if her surname was not revealed, told NPR's Julie McCarthy that the destruction of the property was commensurate with what she claims the government is trying to destroy: Hong Kong Human Rights.
China said she is not the enemy.
"But they are someone who prevents our development and hinders our development in a more civilized society," she said.