In an about turn, the Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced today the withdrawal of the loathed draft fugitives bill that she suspended on Saturday June 15. She has said then that the bill is 'dead,' and had refused to budge on demands for its withdrawal.
In a pre-recorded message, she also admitted that public anger stretches far beyond the fugitives bill into political, economic and social issues, including housing and land supply, income distribution, social justice and mobility, and opportunities for young people, as well as how the public could be fully engaged in the government's decision-making.
But Lam refused to set up an independent inquiry into the protests.
She would not yield on another protester demand - an amnesty. She said it is contrary to the rule of law, and is not acceptable.
The withdrawal of the controversial extradition bill, is one of the five demands of the protesters, who have been agitating for 13 weeks since June.
Hong Kong blue chips vaulted at the close before Lam's message was broadcast. The benchmark Hang Seng Index bounced by 3.9 percent, or 995.38 points to close at 26,523.23.
Leading developer Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) jumped by 9.82 percent at HK$118.50. Cosmetics retailer Sa Sa International (0178) shot up by 17.82 percent at HK$1.90 and Cathay Pacific Airways (0293) jumped by 7.21 percent at HK$10.70.