A number of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s advisers have urged her to delay plans for a controversial change in extradition laws.
However, others still back the process and there is no evidence Ms Lam intends to delay.
Key adviser, Bernard Chan, favoured a pause as the “intense divisions” made it impossible to push on.
Protests were held this week to oppose a bill that could see some criminal suspects extradited to mainland China.
Hundreds of thousands took to the streets on Sunday and Wednesday. Dozens of people were injured when Wednesday’s demonstration turned violent.
Hong Kong is a former British colony, but was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” deal that guarantees it a level of autonomy.
What are the divisions?
Mr Chan, who is a member of the Executive Council, the key advisory body to Ms Lam, told Cable TV he did not think formal discussion of the bill – the step before a final vote – should continue at the moment.
“At a time when there are such intense divisions – to keep discussing this issue, the difficulty is very high,” he said.
Non-official Exco member Lam Ching-choi has also supported a step back, as has pro-Beijing lawmaker, Michael Tien, who said: “She would gain points instead of losing points.”
Others want to proceed, including influential Exco member Regina Ip, the South China Morning Post has reported. -BBC