The address had been seen as a key opportunity for Lam to begin to remedy some of the perceived factors behind the unrest, such as widespread inequality and limited access to public housing. But Lam was quickly forced to abandon her speech after repeated jeers and interruptions from lawmakers.
“Since the extradition bill was announced, Hong Kong has been on the road of no return,” Chan said. She has incited many people to come out to the protests. Why is she coming here to talk about the policy address and govern Hong Kong?”
She condemned the violence and said the government would continue to work to stop it — both through policy action and attempting to address the underlying causes — but added that “any acts that advocate Hong Kong’s independence and threaten the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests will not be tolerated.”
Suryanto Chin Chiu, superintendent of the Hong Kong Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau, said that the device, which was hidden a short distance from a police car and controlled by a mobile phone, appeared to be homemade but required a significant amount of time and expertise to put together. No one was reported injured in the blast, which took place on Nathan Road, one of the city’s busiest streets.
Speaking Tuesday, Alick McWhirter, senior superintendent of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit, said that Sunday’s alleged bombing was a “calculated and premeditated attack on the police.”
“The blast was felt by officers 10-15 meters (32-49 foot) away — this was not a casual act,” he said. “The attack required planning and the attack place was chosen. They waited until officers exited their vehicles (to set off the bomb).”
The bill’s initial passage comes after several US lawmakers visited Hong Kong, and prominent pro-democracy politicians and activists in the city, including Joshua Wong, lobbied for lawmakers to approve it.
In a statement Wednesday, China expressed its “strong indignation and firm opposition” to the bill, accusing Washington of interfering in “China’s internal affairs.”
“The current situation in Hong Kong has nothing to do with human rights or democracy,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang. “The real issue is to promptly end violence, restore order and safeguard the rule of law.”
Geng added that the bill “fully exposes the shocking hypocrisy of some in the US on human rights and democracy and their malicious intention to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability to contain China’s development.”
“The US has important interests in Hong Kong,” he said. “If the relevant act were to become law, it would not only harm China’s interests and China-US relations, but would also seriously damage US interests.”
It is unclear whether the Hong Kong bill will ever become law. The Senate version of the legislation is still awaiting a floor vote and differs from the House version, meaning additional debates will likely be required. Any combined bill will then have to go to US President Donald Trump for his signature.