Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she has never tendered her resignation to China over the anti-government protests that have roiled the city for three months.
Ms Lam was asked repeatedly at a news briefing on Tuesday about a Reuters report citing leaked audio of her telling business leaders recently that she would quit “if I had a choice”.
Ms Lam said she did voice her frustrations during the private meeting but also explained that quitting was an easy way out for her amid the prolonged crisis.
She also criticised the recording and leaking of her comments, calling it “unacceptable”.
Ms Lam was elected as Hong Kong’s chief executive by a pro-Beijing committee of Hong Kong elites and has come under withering criticism for pushing the widely opposed extradition bill that set off the protests.