Hong Kong releases murder suspect who sparked protest crisis

Riot police hold up a banner warning protesters about tear gas during anti-government protest in Hong Kong China

Hong Kong Riot Police Rely on Mainland Suppliers as US UK Tear Gas Stocks Run Low REUTERS Tyrone Siu

In response, several opposition lawmakers tried to heckle Lee's speech, demanding his resignation.

"If the Hong Kong side gives up their jurisdiction and confirms that this can not be reversed, then Taiwan will handle the case", said Chiu Chui-cheng, Vice President of the Mainland Affairs Control, according to the South China Morning Post. Protesters and human rights campaigners feared that Beijing may use the legislation to target dissidents.

Hong Kong's legislature has formally withdrawn a controversial extradition bill that has sparked months of unrest.

The protesters, however, refused to back down, saying that the authorities have reacted too late, and axing the bill alone is no longer enough.

The government has announced it will withdraw the bill but the protests have not stopped.

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Chan Tong-kai, a Hong Kong citizen, was accused of murdering Poon Hiu-wing in Taiwan previous year before fleeing back to the Chinese-ruled financial hub. That appears to have compelled Hong Kong to reject cooperation with Taiwan over Taipei's insistence on a "mutual legal assistance" deal with Hong Kong that would require their institutions to deal with each other on an equal basis.

Chan, who is suspected of killing his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing (潘曉穎) in Taiwan in February previous year before returning to Hong Kong, reportedly said that he would be willing to turn himself in to Taiwanese authorities once released from prison in Hong Kong today.

Instead, Chan was jailed in April on money laundering charges in relation to cash and valuables he took from his deceased girlfriend - Poon Hiu-wing, 19.

However, Chan will not leave Hong Kong for Taiwan yet.

Police have responded to the violence with water cannon, tear gas, rubber bullets and several live rounds.

The leading candidates to succeed Lam include Norman Chan, the former head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and Henry Tang, who has also served as the territory's financial secretary and chief secretary for administration, the report said.

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Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam had proposed the amendments to resolve a case involving a man wanted for murder in Taiwan who could not be sent to the self-ruled island because there was no extradition agreement in place. And if the Chinese military suddenly moves in, dreams of a free, democratic Hong Kong will probably disappear the same way the pro-democracy movement in mainland China did after Tiananmen Square.

China has denied the accusation it is eroding the freedoms granted in 1997, and has blamed foreign nations such as the United States and Britain for inciting unrest.

It would further "give Taiwan some extraterritorial jurisdiction in Hong Kong, which Beijing will not want to give, and it makes Taiwan appear as an equal judicial entity with Hong Kong, which Beijing will not tolerate", Sun said.

"'One China' not only creates practical difficulties but also raises concerns about the rule of law for Taiwan", said Kuo.

Since 2016, Taiwan has lost seven allies as countries have switched diplomatic ties to Beijing, recognizing its "one China" policy.

Over recent months, Beijing has set up a special team working from Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong, to gather information and it acted as the major communication channel between Hong Kong and Beijing, according to two people familiar with the situation.

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"No matter who her replacement is going to be, it matters more if this person is going to address the demands", said Ma.

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