Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told a news conference Tuesday a controversial extradition bill that triggered a wave of weeks-long mass protests "is dead." But protesters have vowed to continue with demonstrations, AP reports.

Details: Lam admitted the bill was a "total failure." Protesters have called for her to resign. They remain worried the extradition bill could be reintroduced. At the news conference, Lam did not address whether the proposed law had been officially withdrawn.

We cannot find the word 'dead' in any of the laws in Hong Kong or in any legal proceedings in the Legislative Council."
— Joint statement by protest leaders Jimmy Sham and Bonnie Leung

Why it matters: Hong Kong retained a high degree of autonomy when it was returned to China in 1997 — including the freedom to protest and an independent judiciary. Hong Kong residents worry that’s crumbling as the Chinese Communist Party tightens its grip, per Axios' Dave Lawler.

  • What started as a protest over a now-suspended bill that would allow extradition to mainland China has turned into a broader repudiation of Chinese rule, the New York Times notes.

This article has been updated with new details, including comments from protest leaders.

Go deeper: Investors worry Hong Kong protests could hurt business

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