China ‘draws up plan to replace Carrie Lam’ as Hong Kong protests drag on

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Speculation over Hong Kong chief executive’s future comes as man whose murder case prompted the extradition bill is released from prison

China reportedly has plans to replace Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, with an “interim” chief executive once protests have settled down.

The news emerged as the murder suspect whose case prompted the original extradition bill that in turn sparked the protest movement in June was released from prison on Wednesday.

Related: Hong Kong leader forced to deliver key speech via video after protests

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