The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, has admitted that she and her administration’s handling of the withdrawn extradition bill was “proven to be a political failure”. She added that she wishes to remain in office to “practice what I’ve learned”.

Lam’s "political failure" began in February 2019 when Hong Kong’s Security Bureau submitted a paper to the city’s legislature proposing amendments to laws for case-by-case extraditions to countries, including mainland China, beyond the 20 states with which Hong Kong already has treaties.

The main concern to Hongkongers at the time was that people could be extradited to the mainland for political reasons and that people would not get a fair trial once they were on the other side of the border.

By June a protest with 240,000 participants took place at government headquarters and police stations with some incidents of violence. The next day, on June 10, Hong Kong said it would proceed with the extradition bill despite the mass protest drawing some attention from around the globe including the United States.

Lam was in Davos, Switzerland, this week attending the annual World Economic Forum when she said, “[It failed] partly because of the nature of the matter and partly because of the very obsolete PR machinery of the [Hong Kong] government, especially facing a world-class propaganda that challenged us.”

She went on to say, “I have certainly learned a lot. That is why when people asked me to resign, I said: Can I hang in to practice what I have learned so I can leave behind a better infrastructure for Hong Kong to deal with challenges in the future?”

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria interviewed Lam on Wednesday. She was defensive of her government’s handling of the unrest which has rocked the city for almost eight months since the June 10 announcement. She said it was an “underestimate” to describe the unrest as a mere democracy movement and that she had to uphold Hong Kong’s core values, including the rule of law and press freedom.

Lam added that “I face a lot of pressure, not only from the protesters but also from the anti-protest camp that I should control the journalists.  I should make sure that they come to my office or police for identification documents before they can go down to the site to report.”

The public broadcaster RTHK is among some media outlets facing criticism over their reporting of the unrest by the anti-protest sector who alleges that they have sided with the protest movement against the government and police. A gathering of about 100 people protested at the station last weekend calling it an “accomplice” of the demonstrators.

There have been rumors that Beijing is looking to replace Lam but so far has openly supported her. With an approval rating at 14%, according to a recent Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute poll, any hopes for a 2022 re-election may be dimmed even with the central government’s rigged political system.