Hong Kong leader promises dialogue to put an end to protests

Carrie Lam aims to end the Hong Kong protests.
Carrie Lam

Hong Kong’s leader has said she is setting up a “communication platform” to resolve differences in the city after months of anti-government protests.

Chief executive Carrie Lam also said the city’s police watchdog will carry out a fact-finding study of the protests and related incidents as it looks into 174 complaints about police behaviour.

The movement held a massive but peaceful rally on Sunday after earlier protests had been marked by violence.

The government has conditioned dialogue on the leaderless protest movement remaining peaceful.

Ms Lam did not say that the communication platform will be used specifically to contact protesters.

It will be used for “open and direct” dialogue with people from all walks of life, she told reporters, while giving few specifics on how it would work.

“Our goal is to work hard to resolve differences and conflicts, to understand each other through communication and to walk out of this social deadlock together,” she said.

Ms Lam’s comments fell short of the protesters’ five demands, which include her resignation and an independent inquiry into what they say was police brutality.

The protesters complain that police have contributed to the violence by responding to their aggressive tactics with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Ms Lam dismissed the protesters’ demand for an independent inquiry, saying the city’s police watchdog was capable of looking into police misconduct.

The watchdog has been criticised for having limited monitoring powers.

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