Hong Kong's leader apologized personally after more than a week of mass protests, but paused to offer her resignation, one of the demonstrators' demands.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's CEO, said on Tuesday at a press conference: "I" After the organizers claimed that up to two million people took to the streets on Sunday, one of the protests over the last nine days was against a controversial extradition law.
"I sincerely apologize to Hong Kong citizens," Lam said. "This incident made me realize that I have to do more." The leader added that she could "understand the public's feelings" and admitted that there had been "inadequacies of the government".
The demonstrators are angered by a law that would allow the delivery of alleged criminals from Hong Kong to mainland China, which governs Beijing as a semi-autonomous region.
Critics assume that the city is involved in the legal system of mainland China, which, according to human rights groups, is often abused and serves to silence dissenters.
On Saturday, Lams government issued a statement in which it apologized and announced that legislative debates would be postponed by the law.
Lam doubled this apology on Tuesday to cameras and reporters. She also said that the bill would not be reinstated unless "these fears and concerns can not be properly addressed." However, she refused in particular to use the word "retreat", although several reporters urged it at the press conference.
She also responded to allegations by the police that there were already systems to hold these officials accountable, and defied the calls to do so to initiate a separate investigation.
Demonstration last Wednesday: A small number of the protesters clashed with the police, who in turn fired tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets into the crowd.
Lam said that only those involved in violence may have fallen prey to the uprisings in Hong Kong, laws that go back to earlier police statements and suggest that the entire protest is considered a riot.
Prior to Lams press conference, demonstrators booed for their testimony and said their concessions were not enough. On the last mass protests Sunday, up to 2 million people took to the streets demanding their resignation and calling for the bill to be officially withdrawn.
Lam declined to meet some of her demands at the press conference on Tuesday, clearly intending to serve the remaining three years of her term as chief executive.
Hong Kong was a British colony until it was returned to China in 1997. It has banned its own political and financial system and a level of freedom of speech in mainland China virtually everywhere.
His chief executive officer is not elected directly by Hong Kong people, but elected by a 1,200-member committee. Hong Kong's "Umbrella Movement" of 2014 called for democratic reforms to this process, which were rejected.