June 19 (UPI) -- More Hong Kong leaders are apologizing for a controversial extradition bill that's sparked some of the largest demonstrations the Chinese territory has ever seen.
Lawmakers have suspended debate on the bill, which would allow mainland China to extradite Hong Kong residents.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet apologized this week and two of her advisers followed suit Wednesday.
Executive Council member Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun said Lam should shoulder the biggest responsibility, he and fellow council member Ip Kowk-him told a Hong Kong radio show.
"I think we in [the Executive Council], are responsible for that," Law said. "We should apologize to the public ... I'm willing [to say sorry] as I really thought at that time 99.9 percent of Hong Kongers would not be affected by the bill."
Ip said he's willing to apologize for underestimating public sentiment about the bill, which would allow fugitives to be sent to places that lack an extradition agreement with Hong Kong, including mainland China.
Ip said Lam can't just scrap the bill, as several key allies in her pro-establishment bloc support it. Also complicating matters is the fact that Hong Kong's Legislative Council has a majority of its lawmakers appointed by the Chinese Communist Party.
"She needs to count on the pro-establishment bloc for her governance in the coming years," Ip said.
About 2 million demonstrators turned out to oppose the bill in Hong Kong over the past week, one of the largest mass demonstrations ever seen in Hong Kong. U.S. President Donald Trump said they were "very effective" in stopping the bill. Beijing foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Trump believes China and Hong Kong can sort it out themselves and, "I think this is the right attitude."
Opponents say the controversial bill should be withdrawn completely.
Hong Kong authorities have freed student activist Joshua Wong, who served a two-month sentence for the 2014 "Umbrella Movement," which protested China's refusal to allow a freely elected Hong Kong legislature. Now 22, he vowed to join the fight against the [extradition] bill "until the government backs down."