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Hong Kong's Carrie Lam delivers speech on video after protests in legislature

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Today, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam delivered her annual policy speech. Speaking in the Legislative Council, Lam was interrupted by protesting legislators. The council was adjourned and Lam later delivered the speech via video. This was reportedly the first such occurrence.

File photo of Lam speaking in 2017
Image: VOA.

Lawmakers from the pro-democracy camp shouted at Lam and projected slogans onto the walls of the council chambers. A number of legislators were removed. Council President Andrew Leung adjourned the session mere minutes into the speech as Lam left.

In the subsequent video broadcast of the speech, Lam said, "any acts that advocate Hong Kong’s independence and threaten the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests will not be tolerated." She further stated, "So long as Hong Kong remains impeded by unresolved disputes, ongoing violence, confrontation and discord, our city cannot embark on the road to reconciliation and people will lose faith in the future […] We have to put aside differences and stop attacking each other".

Lam also spoke on the economy. "The Hong Kong economy has already slipped into a technical recession since the third quarter. In mid-August, the government lowered the economic growth forecast for 2019 to 0 – 1%", she said, noting it was the worst their economy had performed since 2009. Lam also introduced housing and property initiatives to address concerns about rising prices.

Legislator Tanya Chan spoke to the press after the speech: "I really urge [Lam], if she can’t govern Hong Kong, and has no determination to govern Hong Kong, and no ability or even capability of administrating Hong Kong, to please step down. This is the only way we can have a good future, the only way Hong Kong can go forward. Please, please Carrie Lam, please don’t let us suffer anymore. Please go."

Regina Ip from the pro-Beijing camp said in a press conference: "The behavior of my colleagues in disrupting the delivery of the policy address by the chief executive is anti-democratic and oppressive of the rights of the chief executive, and the rights and freedoms of myself and colleagues who want to listen to the policy address".


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