Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam met in Beijing on Monday where he extended his support to the leader of the semi-autonomous region of China. Xi Jinping said that he recognised her courage and commitment to govern Hong Kong in such "exceptional times" and supported police for trying to uphold the law of the land.
Meanwhile, Carrie Lam thanked the Chinese president for his support and care over the last six months and the trust he has shown in her in handling the crisis. Lam's visit to Beijing came amid growing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Lam's visit to Beijing was speculated by experts to be a meeting over a possible cabinet reshuffle. However, no reports of a possible reshuffle have surfaced yet.
Hong Kong is gripped in violent protests since June this year after China decided to bring in a bill that would have allowed Beijing to extradite prisoners to the mainland. After protests grew in numbers, China withdrew the bill but the protests didn't stop there. Now the protesters are demanding an independent commission to inquire into police brutality, retraction of "riot" characterisation of the protests and immediate release of all the arrested protesters.
The protest is termed as the most critical in the history of Hong Kong since it was returned to China by the British in 1997. The protest was sparked after a protester named Leung Ling-kit, also known as "raincoat man" fell to death from a building in Hong Kong. The suicide of Leung escalated the so-called revolution in Hong Kong that turned violent at some point. Amid protests, Hong Kong is also suffering economically. A new data released by the Airport Authority of Hong Kong has recorded a fall in passenger numbers by over 16.2 per cent compared to a year earlier.