September 4, 2019 / 7:39 AM / 2 months ago

Timeline: Key dates in Hong Kong's protests

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is expected to announce later on Wednesday the formal withdrawal of a proposed extradition bill that sparked months of protests in the Chinese-ruled city, a government source said.

A man walks past a graffiti in Hong Kong, China, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/File

Amendments to the Fugitives Offenders Ordinance contained in the bill would have allowed individuals, including foreigners, to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party. The changes were seen by many as a threat to the rule of law in the former British colony.

Following is a timeline of the key dates around the extradition bill and the protests it triggered.

February 2019 – Hong Kong’s Security Bureau submits a paper to the city’s legislature proposing amendments to extradition laws that would provide for case-by-case extraditions to countries, including mainland China, beyond the 20 states with which Hong Kong already has treaties.

March 31 - Thousands take to the streets of Hong Kong to protest against the proposed extradition bill.

April 3 – Lam’s government introduces amendments to Hong Kong’s extradition laws that would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

April 28 – Tens of thousands of people march on Hong Kong’s city assembly building, the Legislative Council, to demand the scrapping of the proposed amendments to the extradition laws.

May 11 – Scuffles break out in Hong Kong’s legislature between pro-democracy lawmakers and those loyal to Beijing over the extradition bill.

May 21 – Lam says her administration is determined to push the bill through the legislature.

May 30 – Hong Kong introduces concessions to the extradition bill, including limiting the scope of extraditable offences. Critics say they are not enough.

June 6 – More than 3,000 Hong Kong lawyers take to the streets dressed in black in a rare protest march against the extradition law.

June 9 - More than half a million take to the streets in protest.

June 12 – Police fire rubber bullets and tear gas during the city’s largest and most violent protests in decades. Government offices are shut for the rest of the week.

June 15 – Lam indefinitely delays the proposed extradition law.

July 1 - Protesters storm the Legislative Council on the 22nd anniversary of the handover from British to Chinese rule, destroying pictures and daubing walls with graffiti.

July 9 - Lam says the extradition bill is dead and that government work on the legislation had been a “total failure”.

July 21 - Men, clad in white T-shirts and some armed with poles, flood into rural Yuen Long station and storm a train, attacking passengers and passers-by, including members of the media, after several thousand activists surrounded China’s representative office in the city earlier in the day, and clashed with police.

July 30 - Forty-four activists are charged with rioting, the first time this charge has been used during these protests.

Aug. 9 - China’s aviation regulator demands Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific suspend personnel who have taken part in the protests. The airline suspends a pilot, one of 44 charged with rioting the month before, the next day.

Aug. 14 - Police and protesters clash at Hong Kong’s international airport after flights were disrupted for a second day. The airport resumed operations later that day, rescheduling hundreds of flights.

Aug. 21 - China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba delays its up to $15 billion listing in Hong Kong, initially set for late August.

Sept. 2 - Lam says she has caused “unforgivable havoc” by igniting the political crisis engulfing the city and would quit if she had a choice, according to an audio recording obtained by Reuters of remarks she made to a group of businesspeople.

Sept. 3 - Lam says she had never asked the Chinese government to let her resign to end the Chinese-ruled city’s political crisis, responding to the Reuters report.

Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Robert Birsel

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