Carrie Lam's inability to deliver her policy address inside the Legislative Council marked a slap in the face for the embattled chief executive grappling with anti-government protests now in their fifth month.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam reacts as lawmakers shout slogans, disrupting her annual policy address at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China, October 16, 2019
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam reacts as lawmakers shout slogans, disrupting her annual policy address at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China, October 16, 2019 (Reuters)

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Wednesday the city's status as a financial hub has not been shaken despite more than four months of sometimes violent anti-government protests.

Beijing-backed Lam was speaking after announcing measures to tackle the city's chronic housing shortage in her annual policy address, which she was forced to deliver by video after pro-democracy lawmakers heckled her in the legislature.

TRT World spoke to Patrick Fok in Hong Kong for more.

Earlier,  pro-democracy lawmakers shouted "five demands, not one less" as they heckled Lam, who faces immense pressure to regain trust and resolve the city's biggest political crisis in decades, in a disruption that forced the meeting to be adjourned twice.

The expression has become one of the movement's rallying calls, referring to protest ers' five main demands, which include universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into what they say has been excessive force by police in dealing with demonstrations.

Some of the lawmakers wore masks of Chinese President Xi Jinping inside the chamber as they held up posters calling for the five demands to be met.

'Soaked in blood'

Pro-democracy legislator Tanya Chan said Lam was to blame for causing Hong Kong’s chaos and suffering over the past four months.

"Both her hands are soaked with blood,” an emotional Chan told a news conference after the policy session.

"We hope Carrie Lam withdraws and quits.
She has no governance ability … she is not suitable to be chief executive”

Security was very tight ahead of Lam's third policy address, with riot police stationed outside and water cannon on standby.

She was speaking hours after the US House of Representatives passed three pieces of legislation related to the Hong Kong protests, drawing a swift rebuke from Beijing, which accused the lawmakers of "sinister intentions" of undermining stability in the Asian financial hub.

One of the measures, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act , would require the U.S. secretary of state to certify every year that Hong Kong retained its autonomy in order to keep receiving the special treatment that has allowed it to be a major financial center.

Lam has ruled out making any concessions to the protesters in the face of escalating unrest, saying, "Violence would only breed more violence."

Source: Reuters