HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong President Kari Lam refuted a Reuters report that gave her a voice statement that she would have resigned if she could, saying she would never discuss resigning with the Chinese government to end the city's political crisis.
A leaked audiotape revealed that Lam told businessmen last week that she had caused "unforgivable chaos" by introducing the deportation bill, adding that "if she had the choice she would apologize and resign."
Lam said at a televised news conference on Tuesday that she had never considered resigning and that Beijing believed her government was capable of resolving the crisis without interference.
"I didn't even think about discussing resignation with the central government. The option of resigning is my choice."
"I have repeatedly told myself in the last three months that I and my team must stay to help Hong Kong ... so I say I have not given myself the option to take the easiest route to leave."
Lam expressed disappointment at the leak of remarks she made at a private meeting where she "refuses" to the audience what she is touring.
In the leaked audio recording, Lam said her ability to resolve the crisis was now "very, very limited" as she had to work for two masters, and that the crisis had now reached a "national level," a reference to the leadership in Beijing.
"I think I can lead my team to help Hong Kong get out of this dilemma. I still have confidence to do so ... so far the central government still believes the Hong Kong government can handle it."