August 15, 2019 / 11:13 AM / 10 days ago

May take time to convince Hong Kong public of merits of extradition bill: UK ambassador

Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming speaks during a news conference in London, Britain August 15, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - It may take time for the Hong Kong government to convince the public that the extradition bill that sparked violent protests is in their interest, China’s ambassador to London said on Thursday.

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming told reporters that the bill had been suspended. “Whether it will be withdrawn, it is up to the Hong Kong government to decide. The chief executive promised to have a further communication with the public.

“I have said this is a good bill that serves the interests of Hong Kong,” he added. “It will make Hong Kong a safe harbor of justice rather than a safe haven of fugitives.

“But it was not well understood, so it might take time for the SAR (Hong Kong) government to explain their position, to convince the Hong Kong public that it is in Hong Kong’s interests to have this bill.”

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon and Costas Pitas; writing by Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison

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